Biden nominates Ketanji Brown Jackson for SCOTUS


(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks after President Joe Biden announced Jackson as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Cross Hall of the White House, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Washington.

Patrick Kane, World News Editor

On Jan. 27, Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, first appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1994, announced his intention to retire. At that moment, President Joe Biden faced his first major foray into judicial politics during his term. During the 2020 campaign, Biden promised that he would appoint a black woman to the nation’s highest court, and on Feb. 25, he fulfilled his promise, nominating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Jackson, who was appointed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by Biden last summer and once served as a law clerk for Breyer, was the favorite for an eventual SCOTUS nomination since Biden took office. She was one of a handful of judges considered, a list which included California State Justice Leondra Kruger, who was involved in the legal battle over the Affordable Care Act, and Judge J. Michelle Childs, who was touted by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham as a consensus pick.

“I’ve always had a deep respect for the Supreme Court and judiciary as a co-equal branch of the government,” Biden said during the nomination. “I’m pleased to nominate Judge Jackson, who will bring extraordinary qualifications, deep experience and intellect, and a rigorous judicial record to the Court.”

The US Senate, which will ultimately vote on whether or not to confirm Jackson (though with a Democratic majority, it is quite likely), has had mixed opinions on her nomination. She was praised by Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York. Even Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and Sen. Joe Machin, two Democrats often at odds with the Biden administration, stated their openness to meeting with Jackson. In contrast, several Republicans expressed skepticism towards the nomination. Graham and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell decried Jackson as a “far-left” darling.

Jackson is currently meeting with Senators and is expected to be confirmed before the Senate breaks for Easter.

Elizabeth Stiles, professor of Political Science at John Carroll University and faculty advisor to the Pre-Law Society, commented on Jackson’s historic nomination. “This is a historic moment in the United States as the first ever African-American woman has been nominated to the Supreme Court. She was the frontrunner pick from the start but there were other excellent picks in the mix as well.

“She offers diversity not only demographically but also in her previous position as public defender.  It seems likely she will be confirmed since the Democratic Senators who don’t always support Biden’s policy proposals still have supported his judicial nominees.  She attended Harvard Law and was editor of the Harvard Law Review.  8 of the 9 justices have attended one of those two schools.”

Patrick Kane is a junior from Lakewood, Ohio and the World News Editor. He can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter at @therealpatkane, or on Instagram at pkdonuts5.