Breaking News
Get 40% Off 0
Is NVDA a 🟢 buy or 🔴 sell? Unlock Now

Biden picks Ketanji Brown Jackson as historic U.S. Supreme Court nominee

Published Feb 25, 2022 09:01AM ET Updated Feb 26, 2022 04:06AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
2/2 © Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis 2/2
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio
Add to/Remove from Watchlist
Add to Watchlist
Add Position

Position added successfully to:

Please name your holdings portfolio

By Jeff Mason, Jarrett Renshaw and Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden on Friday nominated federal appellate judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, saying it was time for America's top judicial body to reflect "the full talents and greatness of our nation."

Biden picked Jackson, 51, for a lifetime job on the high court to succeed retiring liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, setting up a confirmation battle in the closely divided Senate. Jackson's nomination fulfills a campaign promise Biden made two years ago to the day to deliver the historic appointment.

Biden appeared at the White House with Jackson and Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black person to hold that office after he chose her as his 2020 running mate.

"For too long, our government, our courts haven't looked like America. I believe it's time that we have a court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation with a nominee of extraordinary qualifications," Biden said.

Biden called Jackson a "proven consensus builder, an accomplished lawyer, a distinguished jurist," adding that he "looked for someone like Justice Breyer who has a pragmatic understanding that the law must work for the American people."

If confirmed, Jackson would join the liberal bloc on an increasingly assertive court that has a 6-3 conservative majority, including three justices appointed by Biden's Republican predecessor, Donald Trump.

Jackson paid tribute to Biden for "discharging your constitutional duty in service of our democracy with all that is going on in the world today," apparently alluding to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

She thanked God "for delivering me to this point in my professional journey. My life has been blessed beyond measure. And I do know that one can only come this far by faith."

Jackson has served since last year on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after eight years as a federal district judge in Washington and earlier working as a Supreme Court clerk for Breyer. Jackson would become the sixth woman to serve on the Supreme Court, which currently has three female justices.

Biden noted Jackson's family ties, with both her parents being former public school teachers and two uncles and a brother having worked in law enforcement. Another uncle served a prison sentence for drug-related offenses.

Biden, who took office last year, is sagging in opinion polls, with 43% of U.S. adults approving of his job performance in a Reuters/Ipsos poll. Any political benefit for Biden with the historic nomination could be diluted by the Ukraine crisis.

As a White House hopeful in early 2020, Biden pledged to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court at a time when his candidacy was in trouble. Support from Black voters subsequently helped hand him a victory in the South Carolina Democratic primary, propelling him to further victories that secured him his party's presidential nomination.

Biden's party needs Black voters, women and other key members of its political base to turn out for November midterm elections that could change the balance of power in Washington.

Democrats, which control the evenly split 100-seat Senate thanks to Harris's tie-breaking vote, could confirm Jackson with no Republican votes if they remain united. They hope to move the nomination on a timetable similar to the single month that Republicans used for Trump's third appointee, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, in 2020. [nL1N2U62A6]

Biden urged the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is due to hold confirmation hearings, to move promptly. Democrat Dick Durbin, the committee's chairman, said it would "begin immediately" to move forward. A hearing date has not yet been announced.

Other contenders for the nomination included South Carolina-based federal judge J. Michelle Childs and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.

Former President Barack Obama, who first appointed Jackson to the federal judiciary in 2013 and considered her for a 2016 Supreme Court vacancy, called Biden's nominee "an excellent choice," writing on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) that she "understands that the law isn't just about abstract theory. It's about people's lives."


Top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell called Jackson "the favored choice of far-left dark-money groups that have spent years attacking the legitimacy and structure of the court itself." McConnell previously signaled that if Republicans regain the Senate majority in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, he could block any further Biden Supreme Court nominees.

The Senate voted 53-44 last year to confirm Jackson after Biden nominated her to the D.C. Circuit - the third time it has voted to confirm her to a job. Senator Lindsey Graham (NYSE:GHM), one of three Republicans who voted for Jackson last year, signaled a change of tune on Friday, saying her nomination showed "the radical Left has won President Biden over yet again."

At Jackson's confirmation hearing last year, Republicans questioned her on whether race plays a role in her approach to deciding cases. She said it did not.

Democrats lack a working majority after Democratic Senator Ben Ray Lujan had a stroke. He is expected to recover in time to vote on Jackson.

Jackson, who was raised in Miami and attended Harvard Law School, earlier in her career represented criminal defendants who could not afford a lawyer. She was part of a three-judge panel that ruled in December against Trump's bid to prevent White House records from being handed over to a congressional panel investigating last year's Capitol attack.

While Jackson would not change the court's ideological balance - she would be replacing a fellow liberal - her nomination enables Biden to refresh its liberal wing with a much younger jurist who could serve for decades. Jackson's nomination gives Biden a chance to shore up support among women, minorities and liberals ahead of the midterm elections.

The Supreme Court will rule in the coming months in cases that could curb abortion rights and expand gun rights. If confirmed, Jackson would be on the court in its next term, when it is due to hear a case that could end affirmative action policies used by colleges and universities to increase the number of Black and Hispanic students.

Biden picks Ketanji Brown Jackson as historic U.S. Supreme Court nominee

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email