In honour of his campaign promise to appoint a Black woman to the nation’s highest court, President Joe Biden on Friday tapped judge Kentanji Brown Jackson to Serve as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
If confirmed, Jackson will be the first black woman and the third African American to serve in the court’s 233-year history. She was picked to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court. Her historic nomination if she confirmed, will also rewrite the history books as the first time four women will sit together on the nine-member court.
Announcing the nomination on Friday, President Biden described Judge Jackson as an “extraordinary” candidate, with an “independent mind, uncompromising integrity and a strong moral compass”.
“I’m proud to announce that I am nominating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court,” Biden said. “She is one of our nation’s brightest legal minds and will be an exceptional Justice.”
“For too long, our government, our court hasn’t looked like America,” Mr Biden said on Friday. “I believe it’s time that we have a court that reflects the full talent and greatness of our nation.”
In reaction to the nomination, the Federal Appeal Judge said she was “humbled.”
“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,” Jackson said at the White House.
The senate is currently divided 50/50 between the parties. Jackson’s confirmation would not affect the current conservative 6-to-3 supermajority on the court.
The former public defender, a graduate of Harvard Law School, served as a law clerk to three federal judges, including Breyer on the Supreme Court. She served as a trial court judge in Washington for eight years before Biden elevated her last year to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Born in Washington, D.C., in 1970, Jackson moved to Florida as a young child with her parents, graduates of historically Black colleges and universities who worked as public school teachers.
The jurist, 51, has two degrees from Harvard University as well as served as Editor for Harvard Law Review.
Jackson was appointed to the federal bench in 2013.
“Ketanji Brown Jackson is an intellectual heavyweight and highly regarded jurist who has dedicated her life and career to the service of others,” said Mondaire Jones, one of the first Black openly gay congressmen.
In her work as a federal judge, one of Jackson’s most prominent rulings was a 2019 decision in which she ordered former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn to testify in the impeachment inquiry against then-President Donald Trump.