People Want the Next SCOTUS Seat to Go to a Black Woman
In the wake of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announcing his plan to retire, many people – including a good number of sitting congressmen and women – are calling on President Joe Biden to come through on his promise to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, news broke that the 83-year-old Breyer would be retiring after nearly three decades on the court. He’ll be staying on “until the end of the court term and until a replacement is confirmed,” reports CNN. The network also notes that Breyer’s seat “will almost certainly be replaced with a fellow liberal” and “expected to be much younger and could serve on the court for decades.” Currently, SCOTUS is composed of six conservative justices appointed by Republicans and three liberals appointed by Democrats.
By Wednesday afternoon, Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Frederica Wilson, Andy Levin, as well as Sen. Patty Murray all made public calls on Twitter for a Black woman to be seated on the Supreme Court. Biden notably made a pledge during his presidential campaign to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court.
Thus far, many lists circulating about Biden’s nominees include federal appellate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger. President Barack Obama appointed Jackson, a former public defender, to a federal trial judgeship in 2013 and, as Vox reports, she “was recently confirmed to the powerful United States Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia circuit.” The publication also notes that, in 2015, Kruger joined California’s highest court and both women have previously clerked on the Supreme Court — a distinction shared by six of the Court’s current members, all of whom clerked for a justice after law school.
Other lists, including one from the Associated Press, include prominent civil rights lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill and U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs. The wire service notes that Childs was nominated by Biden to be an appeals court judge and is “a favorite of Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., who made a crucial endorsement of Biden just before South Carolina’s presidential primary in 2020.”
No decision on a nominee has been made and likely won’t happen for weeks, so history may just take a little bit longer to make.