US President Joe Biden Has Nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson To The Supreme Court

Joe Biden on Friday intended to nominate judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the supreme court, elevating a Black woman to the nation’s highest court for the first time in its 232-year history, according to multiple US media reports.

Jackson, 51, was nominated to succeed justice Stephen Breyer, 83, for whom she clerked. Breyer, the most senior jurist in the court's three-member liberal wing, will retire at the end of the court's current session this summer.

Jacksonsits on the powerful US court of appeals for the DC circuit, after winning bipartisan approval during her Senate confirmation last year, when Biden elevated her from the federal district court in the District of Columbia.

Born in the nation's capital and raised in Miami, Jackson clerked for Breyer during the supreme court's 1999-2000 term. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

Among her many legal jobs, Jackson worked as a public defender, an experience that sets her apart from many judges sitting on the federal bench.

Jackson's nomination fulfills a campaign promise Biden made to supporters when his prospects of winning the Democratic presidential nomination appeared dim.

But her confirmation would not affect the ideological composition of the court, controlled by a conservative super-majority of six justices, including three appointed by Donald Trump, but it does secure a liberal seat on the bench likely for decades to come.

The opportunity to name a justice to the supreme court is a welcome bright spot for the president, whose approval ratings have fallen to record lows as he confronts myriad crises at home and abroad.

It is also his most significant opportunity yet to shape the federal judiciary, which remains overwhelmingly white and male.

In his first year, Biden nominated a record number of district and appeals court judges from a range of racial, ethnic, geographical and legal backgrounds.

When Breyer announced his retirement in January, Biden vowed to nominate a jurist with "extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity".

And, he added, "that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States supreme court."

Urged by congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina ahead of his state’s primary, Biden made the pledge during a debate, exactly two years ago.

Days later, with Clyburn's endorsement, Black voters lifted Biden to a resounding victory in the South Carolina primary that set in motion a string of successes that ultimately earned him the nomination and later the White House.

The promise divided Republican senators, some of whom argued that race or gender shouldn’t play a role in the selection process, despite similar commitments from Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and Trump.

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill have said they intend to move forward quickly with the confirmation process.

It will be the first Supreme Court confirmation hearing for a Democratic president since Elana Kagan was nominated by Barack Obama twelve years ago.

Republicans refused to hold a hearing for Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, which further poisoned what has become scorched-earth affairs.

But there are already early signs that this confirmation may be different, as Republicans weigh how aggressively to confront Biden’s nominee, particularly when it will not affect the balance of the court.

With their agenda stalled and the president unpopular, Democrats are hopeful the nomination will energize their base as they brace for a political backlash in this year's midterm elections.

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