Biden Nominates Ketanji Brown Jackson to Replace Breyer on U.S. Supreme Court
Last week, President Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court to fill the seat of Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his intended retirement on January 27. Jackson currently serves on D.C.’s federal appellate court and if confirmed, would be the first Black woman to serve on the highest court in the nation.
Senate Democratic leaders hope to hold a confirmation vote on Jackson’s nomination by the middle of April and Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) announced today that her confirmation hearings will begin on March 21.
“For too long, our government, our courts haven’t looked like America,” Biden said in his remarks at the nomination. “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.”
Jackson previously served as a clerk to Justice Breyer, who she has been nominated to replace. Jackson has also served as a federal appellate judge, federal district court judge, member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, attorney in private practice, and federal public defender.
CNN noted that though historic, Jackson’s nomination would not alter the party makeup of the court, which has six conservative justices and three liberal justices; both Breyer and Jackson are considered part of the latter group. Biden considered other finalists, but was impressed by Jackson’s accomplishments and background as a daughter of two public school teachers and administrators.
“Her parents grew up with segregation, but never gave up hope that their children would enjoy the true promise of America” he said.
Democrats hold a thin majority in the Senate. However, when Jackson was confirmed to her position as United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit, three Republicans—Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Ak.)—voted to confirm her. As a result, President Biden is hopeful that Jackson can gain bipartisan support even though several GOP Senators and Senate candidates have already suggested they would oppose her.