THE US President Joe Biden has nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman in US history to serve in the Supreme Court, describing her as one of America’s brightest legal minds.
Black women make up only three per cent of the federal judiciary, according to data from the Federal Judicial Center, and if confirmed, Jackson, who currently sits on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, will break the court’s 232-year history and also boost the gender distribution of women on the nine-member court to four for the first time.
“I’m proud to announce that I am nominating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court. For too long, our government, our court hasn’t looked like America. I believe it’s time that we have a court that reflects the full talent and greatness of our nation,” Biden said on Friday.
Jackson’s nomination comes one month after Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, a longtime liberal, said that he would be retiring this summer after nearly three decades on the bench.
The White House said in a statement that Biden had “conducted a rigorous process’’ to identify Breyer’s replacement and “sought an individual who is committed to equal justice under the law and who understands the profound impact that the Supreme Court’s decisions have on the lives of the American people.”
It added that Jackson was exceptionally qualified, as well as a historic nominee and urged the Senate to “move forward with a fair and timely hearing and confirmation.”
For any Supreme Court justice nomination, the president first chooses his preferred candidate and the Senate then votes to confirm that nominee, which requires a simple majority.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Senate Judiciary Committee would begin hearings “in the coming weeks”