Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Will Make History as Biden's Supreme Court Nominee

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Joe Biden has shared his historic pick for the Supreme Court. On Feb. 25, the president announced Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee: “She is one of our nation’s brightest legal minds and will be an exceptional Justice.” If confirmed, the accomplished 51-year-old judge will make history as the first Black woman to serve as justice.

The news comes just one month after Justice Stephen Breyer shared his plans to retire after nearly 28 years. Following the announcement, Biden pledged, “I’ve made no decision except one: The person I will nominate will be someone of extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity. And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court.” He added, “I made that commitment during the campaign for president, and I will keep that commitment.”

The appointment would mark a full-circle moment for Jackson, who was born in Washington DC, although she mostly grew up in Miami. Jackson attended Harvard University as an undergraduate and law school student. During that time, she helped organise demonstrations in response to a classmate who had draped a Confederate battle flag outside his window at the centre of campus. Jackson also served as the Harvard Law Review’s supervising editor, and she graduated cum laude in 1996.

In recent years, Jackson was appointed by former president Barack Obama to the federal district court in DC, where she served for over eight years. In 2021, she was appointed as a circuit judge by Biden to the federal appeals court. In addition, Jackson is a member of Harvard’s Board of Overseers, and council member for the American Law Institute.

Jackson would be joining a more conservative Supreme Court, as there are currently six sitting justices appointed by Republican presidents. In his one term, former president Donald Trump appointed three justices, including especially controversial picks Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. The two justices previously appointed by Democratic presidents are Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

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