Of the 115 justices who have served on the Supreme Court, two were black and both were male: Clarence Thomas, the current Conservative judge, and Thurgood Marshall, who played a key role in breaking apart segregation in the United States.
“She is one of our brightest lawyers and she will be an extraordinary judge,” Biden said Friday of Jackson’s nomination. The president had already announced on his campaign trail that he would nominate a black woman if given the opportunity. When it became clear last month that Stephen Breyer, 82, was retiring, Jackson’s name immediately fell.
Born in Washington, D.C., Jackson studied law at Harvard University and currently works on an appeals court. She gained experience in the private sector, but also worked for many years as a public prosecutor. As a candidate, Jackson sits well with Democrats but also many Republicans.
Jackson, like Breyer, is a liberal judge. The wing’s influence has declined sharply in recent years, with former President Donald Trump appointing three conservative justices to the Supreme Court: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Kumi Barrett.
Jackson’s nomination must be approved by the Senate, with the Democratic Party holding exactly half the seats. As President, Vice President Kamala Harris has a casting vote in the Senate when there are an equal number of votes for and against.
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