President Joe Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Friday to succeed retiring Associate Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who announced in January that he would step down at the end of the current session.
If confirmed by the Senate, Jackson will be the first Black woman on the high court.
In a tweet, Biden stated, “I’m happy to announce that I’m proposing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court,” describing Jackson as “one of our nation’s sharpest legal minds and will be an extraordinary Justice.”
Biden’s nomination fulfills a pledge he made as a presidential contender in 2020 to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court.
Jackson, 51, was previously nominated by President Barack Obama to replace Attorney General Merrick Garland on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Which is regarded one of the most significant federal courts in the country and serves as a pipeline to the Supreme Court.
Three months later, the Senate confirmed Jackson in a non-controversial hearing, with Republicans Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Lindsey Graham voting in favor of the appointment alongside all Senate Democrats.
Jackson clerked for Breyer in 1999 after receiving her bachelor’s and law degrees from Harvard. She also served on the US Sentencing Commission and as a US district judge in the District of Columbia.
Before Biden’s announcement, civil rights attorney Ben Crump praised Jackson in an op-ed for The Hill, saying she had “the educational credentials and commitment” required for the Supreme Court.
Crump has represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery.
“Judge Jackson will have no learning curve because she knows the law, has adjudicated it extensively, and has battle-tested it,” he continued.
Since Breyer’s announcement, Jackson has been on Biden’s short list of potential choices, along with California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger and Judge J. Michelle Childs of the US District Court in Columbia, South Carolina.
Doug Jones, a former Democratic senator from Alabama, has been chosen to advise Jackson during her confirmation hearings in the Senate.
If confirmed, Jackson will be the Supreme Court’s third Black justice in its 233-year history.
It would also be the first time two African American justices were on the bench at the same time, as well as the first time four women were on the bench at the same time.
A request for more information from the White House was not immediately returned.