While the nation’s eyes remained fixed on Russia’s unfolding invasion of Ukraine, President Biden last week made public his choice for Supreme Court Justice. In his choice of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the President made good on his pledge to select the first black woman nominated to the nation’s highest court. Jackson, at age 51, would also be one of the youngest justices on the Court, if confirmed.
What Biden’s pick stands to add to the Court by way of diversity in race and gender, she lacks in education. Eight of the nine current justices all graduated from Ivy League schools, either Harvard or Yale. If confirmed, Jackson would join four other fellow Harvard alumni on the Court.
Jackson currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where she has sat since just last summer. As such, she lacks an extensive record as circuit judge. The nominee, however, was responsible for several notable rulings during her time as district court judge. The Wall Street Journal remarked that while “many of her rulings consisted of routine applications of case law,” “her body of decisions also suggests she holds a broader view of the judicial role than some other judges.” Perhaps her most notable case, is one that involved the attempt of the Trump administration to shield White House legal counsel, Donald McGahn from investigation in 2019.
As expected, Biden’s pick remains likely to advance pro-abortion agendas, and Planned Parenthood issued its unsurprising celebration of the White House’s choice. CEO Alexis McGill Johnson praised Johnson’s “historic nomination” as “long overdue” and a “part of essential work to rebuild our courts and protect our health and rights.” In response to the question of whether the Supreme Court correctly decided on Roe v. Wade, Jackson said, “I have a duty to refrain from critiquing the law that governs my decisions, because doing so creates the impression that the judge would have difficulty applying binding law to their own rulings.” Despite this previous vague response, pro-action group Live Action noted that Jackson wrote an amicus brief in support of pro-abortion organizations. The pro-abortion organization NARAL celebrated Biden’s pick for Supreme Court Justice as well.
Ultimately, Biden’s choice does not sway the current political leanings of the Supreme Court, as retiring Justice Stephen Breyer is regarded as one of the Court’s three liberal justices. What is concerning, however, is the fact that Biden continually appeals to the most progressive elements of his party, and his Supreme Court pick is likely to reflect that.