Biden nominates first African American woman to the Supreme Court

President Joe Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson via Twitter for the Supreme Court on Friday, Feb. 25. Jackson will be the first black woman to represent the nation’s highest court and the 116th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court if confirmed by the Senate. 

During his candidacy, President Biden promised to nominate a black woman to the Court if the situation presented itself. The opportunity presented itself when Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement in January.  

Jackson, a 51-year-old judge who has served in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, would be the Court’s second black Justice currently serving. 

“I’m proud to announce that I am nominating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court,” Biden said. “Currently serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, she is one of our nation’s brightest legal minds and will be an exceptional Justice.”

Succeeding Justice Thurgood Marshall, Justice Clarence Thomas is just the second African American to serve on the Court, Jackson would be the third and the sixth woman ever to serve on the Court. 

The addition of Jackson to the Court will continue to increase diversity within the judicial branch. There are currently 146 active African American Article III Judges. Pew Research found that only 70 of the 3,843 people who have served as a federal judge were black women. A 2016 analysis of Utah’s racial and gender population in the courts found that the state was ranked the worst in the nation when it came to representation of women and minorities in state courts. Utah has yet to have a black state Supreme Court Justice.

Article by: Lexi Hamel

Photo courtesy of: Anna Sullivan on Unsplash