After months of speculation over who would replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, President Biden announced Friday that he’s chosen Ketanji Brown Jackson, an attorney serving as a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, as his nominee.
If the nomination is confirmed by the Senate, Jackson would be the first Black woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice. Biden first said he would nominate a Black woman as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice when running for president in 2020.
Biden said on a debate stage in South Carolina in 2020 that making sure there’s a Black woman on the Supreme Court was part of an effort “to get everyone represented.”
The confirmation of Jackson’s nomination leans on the Senate, where the Democratic Party has a thin majority. CNN reported that Biden hopes Jackson will get bipartisan support but will need all Democratic members to gain confirmation. The Democratic Party can confirm a Supreme Court justice with its 50 votes and VP Kamala Harris breaking a deadlock.
More About Jackson’s Career
In terms of legal experience, Jackson has served as a public defender in Washington, D.C, and was a commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission. She was appointed to the Federal Court District in D.C. by former President Barack Obama. Jackson also clerked for Justice Breyer.
As a district court judge in 2019, she wrote an opinion piece siding with House lawmakers who wanted the testimony of then-White House Counsel Don McGahn. In 2021, she served on the circuit panel that unanimously ordered disclosure of certain White House documents from the Trump Administration to the House January 6 Committee.
At Jackson’s confirmation for the appellate court in 2021, she said she decided to be a public defender because of her family’s line of work. Her parents worked in public schools while her brother served in the military and was a police officer.