President Biden nominates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court

Jackson’s confirmation hearings began this week

BY PRESTON BURROWS

On Friday, February 25, President Joe Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace Justice Stephen Breyer. Breyer is stepping down at the end of the 2021–22 term. 

Biden praised Jackson as a strong candidate to replace the empty seat on the bench.

“I sought a nominee with the strongest credentials, record, character, and dedication to the rule of law,” Biden said in his announcement on Twitter. 

Jackson holds many credentials in the field of law including graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University. She then attended Harvard Law School, where she graduated cum laude while also working as an editor for the Harvard Law Review

Jackson has been in three different positions that have required Senate approval. 

  • A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit 
    • confirmed with bipartisan support in 2021
  • A judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
    • confirmed with bipartisan support in 2013
  • Vice-Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission
    • confirmed with bipartisan support in 2010

Jackson also has experience with Breyer, as she worked for a clerk in his office. As a clerk, Jackson was responsible for helping make sure that Breyer’s legal opinions and thoughts were put down carefully in the law. 

Biden says that Jackson is a history maker as she is the first black woman to be nominated for the Supreme Court and, if accepted, will be the first black woman Supreme Court Justice.

Jackson talks about her admiration for all judges and lawyers in a video posted on President Biden’s Twitter page, “…especially those who are African-Americans like me, who have worked very hard to get where they are,” she said in the video. 

Jackson shares that Judge Constance Baker Motley is her inspiration. Motley was the first black woman to be appointed to the federal bench. 

Jackson hopes to be an inspiration to others wanting to practice law.

Confirmation hearings for Judge Jackson started yesterday and will end on Thursday of this week. If she passes this panel, a full Senate vote will be held. 

Jackson will need 50 votes to become the first black woman Supreme Court Justice. 

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