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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

Opinion: Inclusive democracy

Three+women+have+been+identified+as+front-runners+for+Bidens+first+Supreme+Court+nomination.
Photo by Photos courtesy of the Department of Justice, Duke University and Harvard University

Three women have been identified as front-runners for Biden’s first Supreme Court nomination.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is on his way out the door, and America is eager to see who will fill his seat. President Joe Biden promised America its first Black female justice — let’s see if we get one.
Biden’s approval rating dipped to 41% and doesn’t appear to be improving anytime soon. His handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, more recently the omicron variant, has left Americans split on whether they’re happy with his executive decisions. Republicans think it’s too much and ineffective, while Democrats think it’s too little — and thus inept. As for the economy, both sides of the spectrum are unhappy. It seems as though people are forgetting the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw one of the best yearly finishes in decades. However, the concerns toward market and oil prices and inflation are overshadowing this triumph.
Depending on the success of Biden’s nomination of a new liberal justice, the potential for increased approval could help his case — or tank it.
With the midterm elections this November, Biden should act swiftly to nominate his choice while he can. Trump did so successfully with his nomination for Justice Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If Biden wants to keep the favor of Democrats, he should pick a name by February.
Not only is the question when, but — more importantly — who?
Since promising a Black woman as the new justice on Jan. 26, there’s been a few names allegedly floating around the White House, according to close White House correspondents. And no, it is most likely not going to be Candace Owens — despite her nominating herself. Fortunately, there are plenty of beyond-qualified Black women for this job.
To start, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is among the women most speculated to be appointed. A Harvard Law graduate, Jackson served under Justice Breyer as a clerk from 1999 to 2000. From there, she served as a vice chair and commissioner for the United States Sentencing Commission and as an assistant federal public defender. From there, former President Barack Obama nominated her to serve as a district court judge in Washington. Then, this past year, Biden commissioned Jackson for United States Circuit Judge. In the middle of all of these commendable accomplishments is an even bulkier resume.
To say she’s qualified is an understatement.
Then, there’s Leondra R. Kruger, who is currently serving as a justice on the California Supreme Court. She is a Yale Law graduate and served as a clerk for Justice John Paul Stephens, and as acting deputy solicitor general under the Obama administration. While she is considered young for a potential nominee, at 45 years old, she still has her own hefty list of qualifications. Not to mention that current Justice Clarence Thomas was nominated at 43 years old.
Kruger’s age could be a long-term advantage for Democrats, seeing as the median age of the court is 53, and Kruger would live to see many administrations come and go.
Julianna Michelle Childs is another potential candidate to succeed Breyer. Childs has served as a federal district court judge in South Carolina since 2010. She didn’t earn her degree from an Ivy League school, but that shouldn’t and doesn’t discredit her in the slightest.
Recently, Biden nominated her to serve the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In addition, Childs has also served as a commissioner on the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission and as the deputy director of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
Obviously, another perfectly qualified choice.
Regardless of who Biden nominates, as long as it’s a qualified Black woman, the decision needs to be made efficiently. Most Supreme Court decisions are wrapped up around the end of June, so an appointment and then a vote to confirm must happen quickly.
With Senate midterm elections this year, there’s a possibility that Democrats could lose needed votes to confirm Biden’s pick. If the confirmation process can be done quickly, as it has been before, then there is no reason to fret. But, Biden needs to announce his nomination first.
Biden has received a lot of heat for limiting his pool of potential nominees by just considering Black, female candidates. While it does shorten the list of qualified individuals, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a shortage of any. For the past 233 years, only two Black, female senators have served in the U.S. Senate. For the most part — and not shockingly so — it’s been predominantly white men. It’s time to give the Senate as much perspective and diversity as America has.
If Biden can swiftly nominate and confirm his pick, maybe more Americans will start to have faith in him again.

Kaelin Connor is a psychology senior and opinion columnist for the Battalion.

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