Ketanji Brown Jackson

Biden’s Supreme Court Nominee


On Feb. 25, President Biden announced Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nomination for the Supreme Court following the retirement of Justice Stephen G. Breyer, setting her up to make history as the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

The nomination comes after Biden promised to push for a Black, female Supreme Court Justice, making good on his promise after heavily researching potential candidates for the bench. Jackson’s nomination came as no surprise to many, having graduated from Harvard-Radcliffe College with high distinction, along with an accomplished history of justicing.

“As I have pursued this professional path … I can only hope that my life and career, my love of this country and the Constitution, and my commitment to upholding the rule of law and the sacred principles upon which this great nation was founded, will inspire future generations of Americans,” Supreme Court nominee Jackson said after being announced as Biden’s selection.

Jackson stood out not only for her stellar qualifications but also for her professional experience with Justice Breyer, making her uniquely suited as his successor. With a conservative majority in the Supreme Court, the judge’s nomination also serves to shake up the uniformity of the board and include more representation of the American public.

“For too long, our government, our courts, haven’t looked like America,” Biden said during his nomination of Judge Jackson. “I believe it’s time that we have a court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation with a nominee of extraordinary qualifications, and that we inspire all young people to believe that they can one day serve their country at the highest level.”

For too long, our government, our courts, haven’t looked like America.”

— President Biden

Judge Jackson has received an outpouring of support from Democratic leaders, being praised for her academic and occupational accomplishments. Many also noted the significance of her nomination as a Black woman and the importance of others’ support for her political endeavors given the historic context.

“I think she deserves support from the other side of the aisle, and I am hopeful that a good number of Republicans will vote for her given who she is, and when they meet her they will just be wowed as I was,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said to reporters after a private meeting with Jackson.

However, some Republicans have expressed skepticism towards Jackson’s nomination, arguing that the process is being rushed without time for thorough consideration. Additionally, many have questioned her past rulings as too “soft on crime” and liberal-leaning for the role of a public defender.

“If media reports are accurate, and Judge Jackson has been chosen as the Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Breyer, it means the radical Left has won President Biden over yet again,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Twitter following Jackson’s nomination.

Despite mixed reactions, Judge Jackson is a strong prospect in the succession of Justice Breyer given her distinctive achievements both as a scholar and enforcer of the law. Should she be confirmed to the Supreme Court, Jackson would greatly impact the diversity and well-roundedness of one of the United States’ most important institutions.

“I want to congratulate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on her nomination to the Supreme Court,” former President Barack Obama said on Twitter. “Judge Jackson has already inspired young Black women like my daughters to set their sights higher, and her confirmation will help them believe they can be anything they want to be.”