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Joe Biden Promised to Nominate a Black Woman to SCOTUS. Now’s His Chance.

Joe Biden Promised to Nominate a Black Woman to SCOTUS. Now’s His Chance.

President Joe Biden is eyeing at least three judges for an expected vacancy on the Supreme Court, each of whom would fulfill his campaign pledge to nominate the first Black woman to the nation’s highest court, according to aides and allies.

With Justice Stephen Breyer planning to retire, early discussions about a successor are focusing on U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs, and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, according to four people familiar with the matter who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss White House deliberations. Jackson and Krueger have long been seen as possible nominees.

CAMBRIDGE, MA – NOVEMBER 06: United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer speaks at the Harvard University Institute of Politics John F. Kennedy School of Government John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on November 6, 2015 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images,)

Since President Biden took office in January 2021, he has appointed five Black women on federal appeals courts, with three more nominations pending before the Senate. Another Supreme Court candidate could come from among that group, White House aides and allies said. Almost all of the recent Supreme Court nominees have been federal appeals judges.

By the end of his first year in office, President Biden had won confirmation of 40 judges, the most since President Ronald Reagan. Of those, 80% are women and 53% are people of color, according to the White House.

Jackson was nominated by President Barack Obama to be a district court judge. President Biden elevated her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Early in her career, she was also a law clerk for Breyer.

Childs. a federal judge in South Carolina, has been nominated but not yet confirmed to serve on the same circuit court. She is a favorite among some high-profile lawmakers, including Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., and has received Republican support. Kruger, a graduate of Harvard and Yale’s law school, was a Supreme Court clerk and has argued a dozen cases before the justices as a lawyer for the federal government.

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