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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Biden announces nominee for Supreme Court

President+Joe+Biden+has+decided+to+nominate+Ketanji+Brown+Jackson+to+the+U.S.+Supreme+Court+to+replace+Justice+Stephen+Breyer.
Photo by Courtesy of Harvard University

President Joe Biden has decided to nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace Justice Stephen Breyer.

After the announcement of the retirement of long-time Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer at the end of January, a replacement nominee has been named.
Following through with his promise to nominate a Black woman for the U.S. Supreme Court, President Joe Biden announced on Feb. 25 Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee for the 116th Associate Justice. Biden said he sought after a candidate with an exceptional background, character and dedication to the legal profession, according to a White House press release
“Judge Jackson is one of our nation’s brightest legal minds and has an unusual breadth of experience in our legal system, giving her the perspective to be an exceptional justice,” the release reads. “He also sought a nominee — much like Justice Stephen Breyer — who is wise, pragmatic and has a deep understanding of the Constitution as an enduring charter of liberty. And finally, the president sought an individual who is committed to equal justice under the law who understands the profound impact that the Supreme Court’s decisions can have on the lives of the American people.”
In a Feb. 25 press conference, President Biden introduced Jackson to the nation and said he is honored to have chosen Jackson as his nominee for the court. 
“Today as we watch freedom and liberty attacked abroad, I am here to fulfill my responsibilities under the Constitution to preserve liberty and freedom here in the United States of America,” Biden said in his speech. “It is my honor to introduce to the country a daughter of former public school teachers, a proven census builder, an accomplished lawyer, a distinguished juror on one of the nation’s most prestigious courts.”
Saying it was all by faith, Jackson said it was a blessing from God which has propelled her through the courts to receive this nomination. Being born into a family of two public school teachers, Jackson said she was inspired by her father who studied to become a lawyer when she was a young child.
“Some of my earliest memories are of him sitting at the kitchen table reading his law books and I watched him study and he became my first professional role model,” Jackson said. “I am standing here today by the grace of God as the testament of the love and support I have received from my family. I have also been blessed with many dear friends, colleagues, mentors and law clerks. I could not possibly name all of the people to whom which I owe thanks.”
Jackson graduated from Harvard magna cum laude, receiving a bachelor’s degree before going on to graduate cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Garnered with many experiences in the field of law, Jackson was nominated by the former President Barack Obama to serve as the vice chair of the U.S. Sentencing in 2009, where she was vital in helping to reduce unwarranted sentencing disparities and ensuring just federal sentences. Obama also nominated Jackson as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 2012.
One of Biden’s first judicial nominees, Jackson was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2021. Jackson also served as Justice Breyer’s law clerk. Additionally, she will be the first former federal public defender to serve on the Supreme Court, if chosen. 
“Because of her diverse and broad public service, Judge Jackson has a unique appreciation of how critical it is for the justice system to be fair and impartial,” the release from Friday reads. “With multiple law enforcement officials in her family, she also has a personal understanding of the stakes of the legal system. After serving in the U.S. Army and being deployed to Iraq and Egypt, Jackson’s brother served as a police officer in Baltimore and two of her uncles were police officers in Miami.”
In her speech, Jackson thanked many people including friends, family and a few mentors who helped her along the way, though she said Justice Breyer had a huge impact on her career and thanked him for his willingness.
“Justice Breyer, in particular, not only gave me the greatest job any young lawyer could wish to have, but he also exemplified every day in every way that a Supreme Court Justice can perform at the highest level of skill and integrity while also being guided by civility, grace, pragmatism and generosity of spirit,” Jackson said. “Justice Breyer, the members of the Senate will decide if I fill your seat, but just know that I could never fill your shoes.”
With the announcement of Jackson’s nomination, the Senate will seek approval before Jackson is fully appointed to the court.
“For too long our government, our courts haven’t looked like America,” Biden said. “I believe it is time that we have a court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation with a nominee of extraordinary qualifications and that we inspire all young people to believe that one day they could serve their country at the highest level and admire these traits of pragmatism, historical protection, wisdom, character, jurors nominated by Republican presidents as well as Democratic presidents.”

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