Biden Nominates Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court

Isaac Coleman, Political Editor

Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court

After the news of Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement on Jan. 27, President Biden was faced with an important decision. He made promises to appoint the first Black woman to the Supreme Court when or if a seat became vacant. A senior White House official said that Biden “sought a candidate with exceptional credentials, unimpeachable character and unwavering dedication to the rule of law.” 

There were a number of highly qualified women for Biden to choose, and he chose Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the DC Appellate Court. At 51 years old, she will be the second-youngest member of the Supreme Court.

Jackson boasts an incredible resume. She is the only nominee since Thurgood Marshall to have been a public defender. Jackson served as a clerk to Justice Breyer, a close friend, and ally. Her current position is often a favored stepping stone to the Supreme Court as five very recent justices have served in this position before becoming nominated to the Court. She replaced current Attorney General Merrick Garland after President Biden appointed him to his current position.

Jackson’s appointment means a great deal to many; as the first Black woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court, many Congresswomen have expressed the nature of how important this is. Her appointment helps show young Black women and girls that they can become anything they choose to be.

Jackson was appointed to her current position on the DC Appellate Court with a Senate confirmation of 53-44 last year, with three Republicans supporting her appointment. Now, however, Republican Senators are holding out hope that they will be able to stall or outright halt her nomination until after the midterm elections this November. 

Of the three Republican Senators who voted to appoint Jackson to the DC Court, Lindsey Graham (R-SC) now says that with Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court, “the radical Left has won President Biden over yet again.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said that while he congratulates Judge Jackson on her nomination, he “understand[s] Judge Jackson was the favored choice of far-left dark-money groups that have spent years attacking the legitimacy and structure of the Court itself.” 

The “Senate must conduct a rigorous, exhaustive review of Judge Jackson’s nomination as befits a lifetime appointment to our highest Court,” McConnell said, seeming to forget the process after the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her replacement Amy Coney Barrett being appointed and seated on the Court in barely over a month. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said that he will utilize the precedent set by Barrett’s nomination and appointment, less than a single month, to mitigate the Republican plans and allow Jackson to sit on the Supreme Court. 

Jackson herself was hearing arguments in court since the news broke early Feb. 25 and will continue to fulfill her role and perform her duties until the afternoon when she is formally nominated at the White House with President Biden.