President Biden plans to appoint a Black woman to SCOTUS


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Outside of the U.S. Supreme Court, D.C.

President Joe Biden is committed to his campaign promise to appoint a Black woman to the United States Supreme Court as a replacement for Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who is retiring at the end of the current term session in June. Biden will be charged with selecting a nominee worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence and decency. Biden has said that he plans to announce his decision by the end of February. “Once I select a nominee, I will ask the Senate to move promptly on my choice,” he said

Breyer is 83 years old, and the oldest member of the Court. He is also one of three remaining liberal justices. Breyer’s plan to retire will allow Biden to appoint a successor and maintain the current 6-3 split between conservative and liberal justices in the upcoming midterm elections. Democrats are trying to avoid a situation similar to that following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. After Ginsburg’s passing, former Pres. Donald Trump appointed Amy Coney Barrett, leaving the court with a conservative majority.

At this point in time, there is a lot at stake for the democratic party. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) said in a written statement that “Protecting Roe v. Wade, coverage for pre-existing conditions, workers’ rights and so many other issues central to the lives of every American are all on the line.”

“The person I will nominate will be someone of extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity. And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court,” said Biden. He also said that this kind of appointment is “long overdue.”

There have been 115 Supreme Court Justices, and 108 of them have been white men. This means that the remaining have either been a person of color, a woman or both. A Black woman, however, has never served on the court.

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) said, “The court should reflect the diversity of our country, and it is unacceptable that we have never in our nation’s history had a Black woman sit on the Supreme Court of the United States—I want to change that.”

There have only been two African American men that served on the court: Justices Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and one woman of color: Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is Hispanic.

There is a large pool of eminently qualified Black female jurists, attorneys and legal scholars that could be potential justices, although this hasn’t always been the case. Throughout history, Black women were unable to access the necessary education to enter the legal profession. There are now a substantial number of Black women that are experienced attorneys and scholars.

Possible candidates include U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Leondra Kruger, a justice on California’s Supreme Court. Jackson is 51 years old, while Kruger is 45 years old. Being that both women are young, they have the possibility to serve on the court for decades in the future.