President Joe Biden has made his choice to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court, according to multiple media reports. Biden will announce today that he will nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to the court.
If confirmed, Jackson would become the first Black woman to serve on the court. She is 51. That would make her the second-youngest justice on the current court. Justice Amy Coney Barrett turned 50 in January.
She would also be the first justice since Thurgood Marshall who served as a longtime defense lawyer. Breyer was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Jackson would not change the court’s current 6-to-3 conservative supermajority.
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan is a relative by marriage. Jackson’s husband, Patrick Jackson, is the twin brother of Ryan’s brother-in-law William Jackson.
Ryan testified on Brown’s behalf when she was nominated to the district court in 2012 saying:
“Our politics may differ, but my praise for Ketanji’s intellect, for her character, for her integrity is unequivocal.
“She’s an amazing person, and I favorably recommend her consideration.
“We’re family, by marriage.
“Her brother and sister-in-law, who are my brother and sister-in-law, William and Dana Jackson, are here with us as well today,” Ryan said.
“After law school, Jackson served as a law clerk to Judge Patti B. Saris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts from 1996 to 1997, then to Judge Bruce M. Selya of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit from 1997 to 1998.
“She spent a year in private practice at the Washington, D.C. law firm Miller Cassidy Larroca & Lewin (now part of Baker Botts), then clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1999 to 2000.
“Jackson worked in private legal practice from 2000 to 2003. From 2003 to 2005, she served as an assistant special counsel to the United States Sentencing Commission.
“From 2005 to 2007, Jackson was an assistant federal public defender in Washington, D.C., where she handled cases before U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
“A Washington Post review of cases Jackson handled during her time as a public defender showed that “she won uncommon victories against the government that shortened or erased lengthy prison terms.”
“From 2007 to 2010, Jackson was an appellate litigator at Morrison & Foerster.”
Republicans are limited in their ability to block a Supreme Court nominee, and Jackson may win the support of some GOP senators.
Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine all voted for Jackson last summer when she was confirmed as a circuit court judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the second most important court in the country.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has indicated that he wants to push a nominee through the process quickly, using Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Senate proceedings as a model for Jackson’s confirmation timeline.
Breaking News: President Biden selected Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, she would become the first Black woman to serve as a justice.— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 25, 2022
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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