Biden Picks Ketanji Brown Jackson, a Former Public Defender, for Supreme Court

President Joe Biden has selected Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, The New York Times reports.

Jackson was previously appointed by Biden to sit on the D.C. circuit court of appeals, the highest federal court outside of the Supreme Court. She was confirmed by the Senate last summer.

Jackson is a Harvard Law School graduate who served as a clerk to Breyer two decades earlier.

Breyer swore Jackson in when she was confirmed to a federal district court in 2012.

“She sees things from different points of view, and she sees somebody else’s point of view and understands it,” he said at the time.

Jackson also worked as a public defender, a rarity among federal court picks.

Jackson beat out Leondra Kruger, who sits on the California Supreme Court, and Judge Michelle Childs, a South Carolina federal judge, for the job.

“Judge Jackson is an exceptionally qualified nominee as well as an historic nominee, and the Senate should move forward with a fair and timely hearing and confirmation,” the White House said in a statement.

GOP reaction:

“The Senate must conduct a rigorous, exhaustive review of Judge Jackson’s nomination as befits a lifetime appointment to our highest court,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.

But South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who urged Biden to select Childs but previously voted to confirm Jackson, lashed out over the pick.

“If media reports are accurate, and Judge Jackson has been chosen as the Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Breyer, it means the radical Left has won President Biden over yet again,” he tweeted. “The attacks by the Left on Judge Childs from South Carolina apparently worked.”

Confirmation kicks off:

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin said the committee would begin vetting Jackson “as soon as possible.”

“We are going to start the formal investigation of this nominee today. We are hoping to move her to a hearing soon — within the next several weeks — and then report that to the Senate floor as soon as possible. I reached out to Sen. Grassley, my Republican counterpart from Iowa who is Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, this morning and we're already in communication. We have a good working relationship” he said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised Jackson as a "widely respected jurist who will bring to the Court one of the sharpest legal minds in a generation."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Jackson would protect the "rights of all Americans, including the voiceless and vulnerable."


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