Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Biden to nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson as first black woman on Supreme Court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a U.S. Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, poses for a portrait, Friday, Feb., 18, 2022, in her office at the court in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a U.S. Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, poses for a portrait, Friday, Feb., 18, 2022, in her office at the court in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Joe Biden is to nominate federal appeals court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, which would make her the first black woman selected to serve on a court that once declared her race unworthy of citizenship and endorsed segregation.

The president is set to deliver on a campaign promise to make the historic appointment and to further diversify a court that was made up entirely of white men for almost two centuries.

He has chosen a lawyer who would be the high court’s first former public defender, though she also possesses the elite legal background of other justices.

Ms Jackson would be the current court’s second black justice – after Justice Clarence Thomas, a conservative – and just the third in history.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

She would also be only the sixth woman to serve on the court, and her confirmation would mean that for the first time four women would sit on the nine-member court.

The three current women include the court’s first Latina, Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Ms Jackson would join the liberal minority of a conservative-dominated court that is weighing cutbacks to abortion rights and will be considering ending affirmative action in college admissions and restricting voting rights efforts to increase minority representation.

Mr Biden is filling the seat that will be vacated by Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, who is retiring at the end of the term this summer.

Ms Jackson, 51, worked as one of Mr Breyer’s law clerks early in her legal career. She attended Harvard as an undergraduate and for law school, and served on the US Sentencing Commission, the agency that develops federal sentencing policy, before becoming a federal judge in 2013.

Her nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority by a razor-thin 50-50 margin with vice president Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker.

Party leaders have promised swift but deliberate consideration of the president’s nominee.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer (Evan Vucci/AP)

The next justice will replace one of the more liberal justices, so she would not tip the balance of the court, which now leans 6-3 in favour of conservatives.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Dick Durbin has said he wants the Senate to move quickly on the nomination, and senators have set a goal of confirmation by mid-April.

But that timeline could be complicated by a number of things, including developments between Russia and Ukraine and the extended absence of Democratic senator Ben Ray Lujan, who suffered a stroke last month and is out for several weeks. Democrats would need his vote to confirm Mr Biden’s pick if no Republicans support her.

Once the nomination is sent to the Senate, it is up to the Senate Judiciary Committee to vet the nominee and hold confirmation hearings. After the committee approves a nomination, it goes to the Senate floor for a final vote.

Ms Jackson was on the president’s short list as a potential nominee even before Mr Breyer retired.

Mr Biden and his team spent weeks poring over her records, interviewing her friends and family and looking into her background.

She serves on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a position that Mr Biden elevated her to last year from her previous job as a federal trial court judge.

She was confirmed to that post on a 53-44 Senate vote, winning the backing of three Republicans.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]