Several New York lawmakers today celebrated President Joe Biden’s nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the first African American woman to serve on the U. S. Supreme Court.
Biden made his intention to nominate Jackson public on Twitter earlier today ahead of his formal announcement this afternoon.
“I’m proud to announce that I am nominating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court,” Biden wrote on Twitter. “Currently serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, she is one of our nation’s brightest legal minds and will be an exceptional Justice.”
If confirmed, Jackson would replace outgoing Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced last month that he’ll be retiring at the end of the court’s current term. Because Jackson will be one liberal-leaning justice replacing another, her nomination and possible ascension to the high court almost certainly won’t change its current ideological makeup – where the conservative justices hold a 6-to-3 supermajority.
While Jackson was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit with the support of all 50 U.S. Senate Democrats and even three Republicans, the margins will likely be slimmer for her Supreme Court confirmation vote.
Prior to Jackson’s time on the D.C. Circuit, she was a federal trial court judge in Washington for eight years. She also clerked for Breyer in 1999 and did a stint at the U.S. Sentencing Commission – which establishes sentencing guidelines for federal courts.
Additionally, Jackson would be the first former public defender to serve on the Supreme Court.
In a statement, U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D – Brooklyn, Queens) said Jackson’s resume makes her the ideal person to succeed Breyer.
“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is a groundbreaking, visionary, highly capable legal mind who has dedicated her career to ensuring that the rights and protections afforded by our Constitution apply equally to those who need them the most,” Jeffries said. “Her time as a public defender, on the U.S. Sentencing Commission and as a federal judge, combined with her life experience as a Black woman, has provided her with unique knowledge and perspective to strengthen the high court and balance the scales of justice.”
City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams – the first Black woman to serve in her own position – applauded Jackson’s nomination for how it’ll open up more opportunities for Black women across the country.
“President Biden’s nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court is historic, long overdue, and well-deserved,” Adams said. “Judge Brown Jackson’s impressive career, from public defender and federal appellate court to a seat on the highest court in the country, is emblematic of her incredible dedication to public service and the rule of law. Her historic nomination breaks an important glass ceiling for Black women, and blazes a trail for young women and girls across the country.