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Ketanji Brown Jackson Becomes the First Black Woman to Be Nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman to be nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday by President Biden’s selection. This nomination fulfills the president’s campaign promise to nominate a Black woman to America’s highest-ranking court.

At the White House, President Biden introduced Jackson. He spoke of the historic nomination: “For too long our government and our courts haven’t looked like America.” Biden aims to represent the American people with his nomination of Judge Jackson, whom he marked as a “proven consensus builder” and a “distinguished jurist.”

In the Biden administration’s official announcement, Judge Jackson is praised for her legal and judicial experience, which has largely transpired in the public sphere. Jackson has previously served as a U.S. Sentencing Commission lawyer and commissioner, federal public defender and federal judge. Currently, she serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

“Judge Jackson is an exceptionally qualified nominee as well as a historic nominee,” the statement reads. “The Senate should move forward with a fair and timely hearing and confirmation.”

Jackson has been nominated to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, who plans to step down from the Supreme Court at the end of the current term. Breyer, a liberal, served on the court for more than 27 years. With Breyer’s exit and Jackson’s potential entrance, the Supreme Court will remain at the 6-3 conservative majority.

The Biden administration’s announcement made clear that the president’s goal was to select a candidate who embodies Breyer. Biden searched for a nominee who is “wise, pragmatic, and has a deep understanding of the Constitution as an enduring charter of liberty,” like Justice Breyer.

To follow in Justice Breyer’s footsteps, Biden made an ideal choice in his selection of Judge Jackson, who has proudly served in Breyer’s chambers as a law clerk and the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Kaitlyn Newport

American '24

Kaitlyn is a junior at American University majoring in journalism and political science. She enjoys creative writing, photography, and reading, and she is passionate about mental health and women's rights. Kaitlyn is a section editor and contributing writer for HCAU and currently living in D.C.