WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Friday announced he is nominating Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to replace Justin Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court.
If confirmed, Jackson would become the first Black woman to serve on the court and be the second-youngest justice on the current court.
“As we watch freedom and liberty under attack abroad, I’m here to fulfill my responsibilities under the Constitution to preserve freedom and liberty,” Biden said at the White House. “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.”
Biden called Jackson on Thursday night to offer her the nomination and Vice President Kamala Harris made calls to former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as well as notifying lawmakers.
“I can only hope that my life and career, my love of this country and the Constitution, and my commitment to upholding the rule of law and the sacred principles upon which this great nation was founded, will inspire future generations of Americans,” Jackson said.
Jackson was nominated to District Court and confirmed on a 53-44 vote with the support of three Senate Republicans. J. Michelle Childs was thought to be an early favorite and was the favorite of Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., a close ally of Biden.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Jackson would receive a “prompt” hearing in the coming weeks.
“The historic nomination of Judge Jackson is an important step toward ensuring the Supreme Court reflects the nation as a whole,” Schumer said in a statement. “Senate Democrats will work to ensure a fair, timely, and expeditious process — fair to the nominee, to the Senate, and to the American public.”
Former President Barack Obama, who nominated Jackson as a district judge, praised Jackson in a statement, endorsing her for the Supreme Court.
“Judge Jackson has already inspired young Black women like my daughters to set their sights higher, and her confirmation will help them believe they can be anything they want to be,” he said.
Breyer said he intends to step down after the court finishes handing down decisions from this term, in the summer.