President Joe Biden kept his word and nominated a black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court for the first time ever. He has selected Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee to the Supreme Court, according to a White House announcement.
President Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the 116th associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. The 51-year-old U.S. appeals court judge was nominated to succeed Justice Stephen Breyer, for whom she clerked. The 83-year-old judge – who is considered to be the most senior jurist in the court’s three-member liberal wing – announced in January he has plans to retire this Summer.
If Judge Jackson is selected, she will make history as the first Black woman on the nation’s highest court. And trust, she didn’t get the nomination simply because she’s a Black woman. ”President Biden sought a candidate with exceptional credentials, unimpeachable character, and unwavering dedication to the rule of law,” the White House said in a statement. “Judge Jackson is an exceptionally qualified nominee as well as an historic nominee, and the Senate should move forward with a fair and timely hearing and confirmation.”
If she’s selected, she’ll be the first justice in decades with any significant experience representing criminal defendants. The last justice with any real experience as a defense lawyer in criminal cases was Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Judge Jackson served as a federal public defender for two years and she was a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission during the time the panel significantly rolled back federal sentencing guidelines for many drug offenses.
Judge Jackson’s background is quite impressive. She went to Harvard Law, she served as a Supreme Court clerkship, spent some time at prestigious corporate law firms, she held a seat as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and she was also a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Judge Jackson was one of President Biden’s first judicial nominees. She was confirmed with bipartisan support to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2021.
During her confirmation hearing for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, asked Jackson what role race played in her time as a judge.
“I don’t think that race plays a role in the kind of judge that I have been and would be. I’m doing a certain thing when I get my cases,” Judge Jackson replied. “I’m looking at the arguments, the facts and the law. I’m methodically and intentionally setting aside personal views, any other inappropriate considerations, and I would think that race would be the kind of thing that would be inappropriate to inject into my evaluation of a case.”
Interesting a republican had the audacity to ask this, but they acted shocked and appalled that people felt the need to ask now-Supreme Court Judge Kavanaugh about his multiple sexual assault accusations. Hmph.
Judge Jackson was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Miami, Florida. Her parents attended segregated primary schools, then attended historically black colleges and universities. Both started their careers as public school teachers and became leaders and administrators in the Miami-Dade Public School System. When Judge Jackson was in preschool, her father attended law school. In a 2017 lecture, Judge Jackson traced her love of the law back to sitting next to her father in their apartment as he tackled his law school homework—reading cases and preparing for Socratic questioning—while she undertook her preschool homework—coloring books.
Judge Jackson stood out as a high achiever throughout her childhood. She was a speech and debate star who was elected “mayor” of Palmetto Junior High and student body president of Miami Palmetto Senior High School. But like many Black women, Judge Jackson still faced naysayers. When Judge Jackson told her high school guidance counselor she wanted to attend Harvard, the guidance counselor warned that Judge Jackson should not set her “sights so high.”
That did not stop Judge Jackson. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, then attended Harvard Law School, where she graduated cum laude and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Judge Jackson lives with her husband, Patrick, and their two daughters, in Washington, DC.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement: “With her exceptional qualifications and record of evenhandedness, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be a Justice who will uphold the constitution and protect the rights of all Americans, including the voiceless and vulnerable. Once the President sends Judge Jackson’s nomination to the Senate, Senate Democrats will work to ensure a fair, timely, and expeditious process – fair to the nominee, to the Senate, and to the American public,” he added.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement: “I voted against confirming Judge Jackson to her current position less than a year ago. Since then, I understand that she has published a total of two opinions, both in the last few weeks.” He added: “With that said, I look forward to carefully reviewing Judge Jackson’s nomination during the vigorous and thorough Senate process that the American people deserve.”
Now that President Biden has named Judge Jackson as his nominee, the President will seek the Senate’s consent to confirm Judge Jackson to the Supreme Court. Judge Jackson’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority by a 50-50 margin with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for SCOTUS!