President Joe Biden will nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court, elevating an African American woman for the first time to a seat on the high court bench, ABC News has learned.
Judge Jackson, 51, currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, to which she was appointed by Biden and confirmed by the Senate last year with Republican support.
Her historic nomination fulfills a promise Biden made during the 2020 campaign ahead of the South Carolina primary, when he relied heavily on support from the state’s Black voters. It’s also the first opportunity for Biden, a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to help shape a Court that has grown sharply more conservative in recent years, even if his appointment will not alter the current ideological balance.
Jackson, a former clerk to retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, has more than eight years experience on the federal bench, following a path through the judiciary traveled by many nominees before her. She also would be the first federal public defender to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court and the first justice since Thurgood Marshall to have criminal defense experience.
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.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.