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Senate Judiciary Committee Considers Nominations For Judges

Ketanji Brown Jackson, nominated to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit, is sworn in to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending judicial nominations on Capitol Hill, April 28, 2021, in Washington, D.C. | Source: Pool / Getty

President Joe Biden plans to nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson in an effort to make her the first Black woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, according to reports.

Biden promised to name his pick before the end of February, which is also notably Black History Month.

It was not immediately clear when Biden was expected to formally make his announcement.

If confirmed, Jackson would replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, for whom she served as a law clerk years ago.

Axios noted that Jackson would be “the first justice in decades with any significant experience representing criminal defendants.”

Jackson was in June confirmed to serve on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, making her only the third Black woman to work in that capacity.

Prior to that, Jackson had served as a judge for the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia since 2013.

Jackson was on former President Barack Obama‘s shortlist to replace Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia when he died in 2016. She was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Obama back in 2012.

Notably, Jackson ruled in 2018 that Donald Trump overstepped his authority as the president in an order restricting the ability of federal employees to collectively bargain. Jackson also has a promising record when it comes to health and wellness. In a 2013 case, meatpackers tried to block Obama administration regulations requiring labels to identify an animal’s country of origin. Jackson upheld the rule to which the meatpackers appealed and lost.

In addition to her valuable experience on the bench, Jackson previously worked as a federal public defender and was a U.S. Sentencing Commission member.

Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of the Advancement Project – National, previously told NewsOne that while the prospect of a Black woman on the bench is exciting, the nomination should consider the person’s background and ability to contextualize history and its impact on constitutional interpretations. 

“There’s a Black person who sits on the Supreme Court, and when we say we want to Black person on the Supreme Court, we don’t need another repeat of that person,” Browne Dianis said. “It’s the opportunity to have a Black person who understands the history of the Constitution, but also understands how race and the law have been inextricably tied together since the founding of this country.” 

This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.

SEE ALSO:

Biden’s Supreme Court Nomination ‘An Opportunity’ To Have A Black Justice Who Gets It On Civil Rights

Beyond Black: Racial Justice Groups List Qualities Biden’s SCOTUS Nominee Must Possess

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