After a month of anticipation, President Joe Biden announced his nomination of D.C. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court Friday afternoon.
If confirmed, Jackson will be the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. This ceremony marks exactly two years since Biden committed to choosing the first Black female justice in history at a 2020 primary debate in South Carolina.
At an event at the White House, Biden officially announced his nomination of Jackson.
“For too long our government, our courts, haven’t looked like America,” Biden continued. “I believe it’s time that we have a court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation.”
Jackson also spoke at the event, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to serve on the Court.
“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.
The confirmation process is expected to move quickly in order to confirm Jackson prior to midterm elections in November 2022. Democratic leaders have announced they are hoping to confirm Jackson by April 8.
Jackson will replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, a moderately liberal justice who served on the Court for 28 years. Jackson clerked for Breyer and previously worked as a public defender from 2005 to 2007. She will be the first justice since Thurgood Marshall to have experience as a public defender and the third Black justice to ever serve on the Supreme Court. Incumbent Justice Clarence Thomas, appointed by George H.W. Bush in 1991, is the second and currently the only Black justice on the Court.
Although Jackson’s nomination and appointment to the Court will not change the ideological balance of the court, which currently has six conservative justices and three liberal justices, Jackson is likely to serve for decades to come. She is 51, just one year older than Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the youngest sitting justice.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced her support for Jackson in a press release Friday morning.
“I commend President Biden for recognizing the importance of striving for a Supreme Court that better reflects the citizens its rulings impact,” the press release stated. “Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s well-rounded career — both from the bench and as a public defender — makes her an admirable and well-qualified nominee for consideration on our nation’s highest court.”
In a press release Friday morning. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, D-Mich., also expressed support for Jackson’s nomination.
“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is an exceptionally qualified candidate for the Supreme Court,” the press release stated. “Her experience as a public defender and judge at multiple levels demonstrate not only her dedication to the rule of law, but her understanding of the way the law is applied to everyday people – a critical qualification that will serve Michiganders well. She will bring decades of experience, impeccable credentials, and a firm commitment to the Constitution and rule of law to our highest court.”
Daily news editor Kate Weiland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.