President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris have nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the United States Supreme Court , where she would become the first Black woman to serve in the high court’s 233-year history.
At a formal White House ceremony Friday afternoon, in Biden’s preannouncement speech he said, “Today, as we watch freedom and liberty under attack abroad, I’m here to fulfill my responsibilities under the Constitution, to preserve freedom and liberty here in the United States of America.”
“For too long, our government, our courts haven’t looked like America,” Biden said. “I believe it’s 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 they can one day serve their country at the highest level.”
Biden, then introduced Jackson saying, “It is my honor to introduce to the country a daughter of former public-school teachers, a proven consensus builder, an accomplished lawyer, a distinguished jurist, one of the most — on one of the nation’s most prestigious courts.”
At age 51, Jackson currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to which she was named by Biden and confirmed by the Senate last year with Republican support. The president called Jackson late Thursday to inform her of the decision, a source familiar with the conversation said.
Jackson responded after her introduction, “I must begin these very brief remarks by thanking God for delivering me to this point in my professional journey. My life has been blessed beyond measure and I do know that one can only come this far by faith.”
She added, “Among my many blessings, and indeed the very first, is the fact that I was born in this great country. The United States of America is the greatest beacon of hope and democracy the world has ever known. I was also blessed from my early days to have had a supportive and loving family. My mother and father, who have been married for 54 years, are at their home in Florida right now and I know that they could not be more proud.”
Jackson, if confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate, would succeed retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. Her nomination fulfills a promise Biden made during the 2020 presidential campaign ahead of the South Carolina primary when he relied heavily on support from the state’s Black voters.
Jackson, born in D.C., but raised in Miami, comes from an elite legal pedigree as a graduate of Harvard Law School, but also has experience representing everyday Americans in the legal system as a federal public defender.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said this week that the nominee will be “respectfully treated and thoroughly vetted.” Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), said Sunday that his party will not engage in “personal slime attacks” but will scrutinize the candidate’s record.
Democrats have the votes to confirm Jackson without Republican support, but President Biden has said he hopes to win over some members of the other party.