OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
President Joe Biden has made his pick for the Supreme Court and, as he promised, it is the first black woman to ever be nominated.
D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is his nominee to take the place of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, Politico reported.
Jackson, 51, has long been considered the leading contender for the post, particularly after Biden elevated her last year from the trial court bench to the appeals court seen as second in power only to the Supreme Court.
Jackson is popular with liberal legal activists looking to replace Breyer with a justice willing to engage in ideological combat with the court’s conservatives, who now hold a formidable six-justice majority.
“According to a source who has been notified about the decision, President Biden has decided to nominate to the Supreme Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit,” CNN anchor Jake Tapper said on Twitter.
According to a source who has been notified about the decision, President Biden has decided to nominate to the Supreme Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 25, 2022
“Ketanji Brown Jackson is Joe Biden’s nominee for the Supreme Court. She’s from the DC federal appeals court. As promised, she is a black woman. She’s also a radical liberal who has no loyalty whatsoever to the Constitution” Amy Tarkanian said.
Ketanji Brown Jackson is Joe Biden's nominee for the Supreme Court.
She's from the DC federal appeals court.
As promised, she is a black woman.
She's also a radical liberal who has no loyalty whatsoever to the Constitution.
— Amy Tarkanian (@MrsT106) February 25, 2022
It was the beginning of the month when it was reported that Jackson had taken the lead in the sweepstakes to replace Justice Breyer, Yahoo News reported.
President Obama first appointed her as a federal district judge in 2013 and considered her as a possible nominee to fill the seat of Justice Antonin Scalia when he died suddenly six years ago.
Last year, the Senate confirmed her 53 to 44 as Biden’s choice for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court has often been a stepping stone to a Supreme Court nomination, including for Scalia and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Brett M. Kavanaugh as well as Merrick Garland, whose nomination was blocked in 2016.
Those who know Jackson say she always drew praise and respect.
“Even among that rarified crowd of law clerks, she stood out — not only because of her sharp intellect and keen ability to identify and analyze legal issues, but also for her natural leadership skills,” University of Georgia law professor Sonja West said. She “knows how to bring people together, build their trust and bring down the temperature in the room. Yet she also has a fearless confidence in her opinions.”
She is married to Dr. Patrick G. Jackson, a surgeon who set me at Harvard and who is connected to Republican former Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan as his twin brother is Ryan’s brother-in-law.
She comes from an accomplished family as her dad was an attorney for his daughter’s school district and her mom was the principal of Miami’s high school for the arts.
And she attended school with some accomplished people, including former debate team partner, Stanford law professor Nate Persily, who said she was “a star in the making,” and former U.S. attorney for Miami, Ben Greenberg, who was not only her debate partner but her prom date.
“All of us high school debaters were idealistic and had dreams of either arguing in the Supreme Court or being a Supreme Court justice. But if we had to vote who was the most likely to end up on the court, Ketanji Brown Jackson would have been the unanimous choice,” South Florida criminal defense attorney David O. Marcus said. “She was so smart, dynamic, charming and friendly — and a star debate champion. Our old high school debate crew is rooting very hard for her.”
Democrats could be taking a chance as her ideologies are not exactly known but she did rule against former White House Counsel Donald McGahn’s claim of “absolute immunity.”
“Blatant defiance of Congress’ centuries-old power to compel the performance of witnesses is not an abstract injury, nor is it a mere banal insult to our democracy,” she said. “It is an affront to the mechanism for curbing abuses of power that the framers carefully crafted for our protection.”
“Stated simply, the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that presidents are not kings. … Rather, in this land of liberty, it is indisputable that current and former employees of the White House work for the people of the United States, and that they take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” she said.