Washington, Feb 25 (EFE).- President Joe Biden said Friday that his choice of federal appellate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the first African American woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court will make the judiciary more representative of the population.
“For too long, our government, our courts haven’t looked like America,” he said during an event at the White House to present the nominee.
“I believe it’s time that we have a court 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,” the president said. “Her parents grew up with segregation, but never gave up hope that their children would enjoy the true promise of America.”
Two years ago, during the campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Biden pledged to name a black woman to the Supreme Court and he reaffirmed that commitment late last month when Justice Steven Breyer announced his intention to retire at the end of the current judicial session in August.
If confirmed by the Senate, Jackson, 51, would be the first black woman to sit on the nine-member court and only the third African American in the 233-year history of the institution.
At Friday’s event, Biden highlighted the judge’s personal qualities.
“She listens. She looks people in the eye – lawyers, defendants, victims and families – and she strives (to) ensure that everyone understands why she made a decision, what the law is, and what it means to them,” the president said.
Jackson expressed gratitude for the “extraordinary honor” of being nominated to the Supreme Court and thanked God for what she described as a life that “has been blessed beyond measure.”
In acknowledging the people who helped her reach this point, she made special mention of Breyer, whom she assisted as a law clerk in 1999-2000.
“Justice Breyer, in particular, not only gave me the greatest job that any young lawyer could ever hope 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 please know that I could never fill your shoes,” the nominee said.
Jackson, who was born in Washington but grew up in Miami, graduated from Harvard University and Harvard Law School before holding a succession of positions with private law firms and three judicial clerkships.
In 2005, she departed from the usual career path for a future judge by becoming a federal public defender in Washington.
Jackson became a US district court judge in 2012 and was elevated to the Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit less than a year ago.
Wile several Republicans voted in the past to confirm Jackson as a district and then appellate judge, it remains unclear whether any will support her for the Supreme Court.
Democrats – assuming they stick together – can confirm her nomination to the high court without any Republican votes. EFE