Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is among the leading candidates to succeed Justice Breyer.

cigaretteman

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May 29, 2001
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Attention quickly turned on Wednesday to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as one of a small number of likely options who could fulfill President Biden’s pledge to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, after the disclosure that Justice Stephen G. Breyer has decided to retire.
Judge Jackson, 51, already successfully went through the Senate confirmation process last year, when Mr. Biden elevated her from the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia to the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
She was confirmed to the appeals court in June by a 53-to-44 vote. All 50 members of the Democratic caucus voted for her, as did three Republican senators: Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Three Republicans did not vote.
Judge Jackson, who clerked for Justice Breyer during the Supreme Court’s 1999-2000 term, was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Miami. She graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
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She worked several legal jobs early in her career, including as a staff member for the United States Sentencing Commission and, from 2005 to 2007, as an assistant federal public defender in Washington. In 2012, President Barack Obama nominated her to serve as a district court judge in the capital.
During her eight and a half years on the Federal District Court bench, Judge Jackson handled a number of challenges to executive agency actions that raised questions of administrative law. She also heard several cases that attracted particular political attention.
Among them, in 2019, she ruled that Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel to President Donald J. Trump, had to obey a congressional subpoena seeking his testimony over Mr. Trump’s efforts to obstruct the Russia investigation.

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“Presidents are not kings,” she wrote, adding that current and former White House officials owe their allegiance to the Constitution. “They do not have subjects, bound by loyalty or blood, whose destiny they are entitled to control.”
The Trump Justice Department appealed the ruling, but Mr. McGahn eventually did testify behind closed doors last year, after the Biden administration struck a deal with House Democrats to resolve the dispute.



But while Judge Jackson ultimately ruled against Mr. Trump in the McGahn case, she also indirectly helped him by consuming nearly a third of a year to resolve what was merely the first stage of a case that would inevitably be appealed, including writing a 120-page opinion.
Her handling of that case was a prime example of how Mr. Trump’s legal team successfully used the slow pace of litigation to run out the clock on congressional oversight efforts, effectively winning despite court rulings against them. Against that backdrop, Judge Jackson’s handling of another high-profile case recently was notably more attuned to the real-world consequences of judicial delay.
After Mr. Biden elevated Judge Jackson to the appeals court in 2021, she was part of a three-judge panel that heard Mr. Trump’s challenge to a congressional subpoena for White House records related to the Capitol riot. In December, less than a month after that case was docketed before them, they ruled that Congress could see the documents. The Supreme Court this month affirmed that outcome, completing the dispute’s unusually rapid resolution.
Judge Jackson has two daughters and is related by marriage to Paul D. Ryan, the former House speaker and Republican vice-presidential candidate. Her husband, Patrick G. Jackson, is a surgeon and the twin brother of Mr. Ryan’s brother in-law. At her 2012 confirmation hearing to be a district court judge, Mr. Ryan testified in her support, calling her “clearly qualified” and “an amazing person.”
“Our politics may differ, but my praise for Ketanji’s intellect, for her character, for her integrity, it is unequivocal,” Mr. Ryan said. “She is an amazing person, and I favorably recommend your consideration.”

 
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cigaretteman

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Among those mentioned as a possible Breyer replacement: California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.
Kruger, 45, is a former Department of Justice official who served as deputy solicitor general, the second-highest-ranking Supreme Court advocate in the federal government, before joining the high court in California in 2015.
During her tenure in the Office of the Solicitor General, Kruger argued 12 cases in the Supreme Court on behalf of the federal government, according to her court biography.
Kruger previously worked in private practice, where she specialized in appellate and Supreme Court litigation, and taught as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School.
Biden has pledged to select a Black woman to succeed Breyer. There are few Black women on the federal appellate court bench, the traditional spot from which Supreme Court nominees are chosen.
One who fits that bill is Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a former Breyer Supreme Court clerk who in June was confirmed to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and is also believed to be high on Biden’s list.

 

globalhawk

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Dec 16, 2003
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More discrimination....

I guess he didn't learn his lesson from picking Kamala.
I think you are overreacting. In a perfect world, selecting the best possible candidate is ideal. Politics is not a perfect world. As it stands now the justices are 7 whites and 2 minorities. Does that represent America? There needs to be more of a balance when making decisions for an entire country that is half minority. I think simply saying that the country needs to try better to reflect its population would be a better message.
 

lucas80

HR King
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Jan 30, 2008
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J. Michelle Childs from South Carolina is a very interesting candidate. She would be the only non Ivy League justice if she were picked, and she has a fairly diverse work history. She's held some state jobs, was in private practice, and was a trial judge.
 
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herkyhawk00

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In the corporate world you are advised to not publicize that you are hiring one based on a specific gender or race, but apparently the POTUS can openly do it and be applauded for it. Just say you are going to hire the best qualified. I think it is demeaning to those hired and those not even given an opportunity.
 

lucas80

HR King
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Jan 30, 2008
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In the corporate world you are advised to not publicize that you are hiring one based on a specific gender or race, but apparently the POTUS can openly do it and be applauded for it. Just say you are going to hire the best qualified. I think it is demeaning to those hired and those not even given an opportunity.
1. Not the corporate world. 2. I hope those white guys can get over being passed for the first black woman in the 200+ years of the SCOTUS.
 

The Tradition

HR King
Apr 23, 2002
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In the corporate world you are advised to not publicize that you are hiring one based on a specific gender or race, but apparently the POTUS can openly do it and be applauded for it. Just say you are going to hire the best qualified. I think it is demeaning to those hired and those not even given an opportunity.

Not if you're a federal contractor and subject to Affirmative Action rules.
 

The Tradition

HR King
Apr 23, 2002
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I think you are overreacting. In a perfect world, selecting the best possible candidate is ideal. Politics is not a perfect world. As it stands now the justices are 7 whites and 2 minorities. Does that represent America? There needs to be more of a balance when making decisions for an entire country that is half minority. I think simply saying that the country needs to try better to reflect its population would be a better message.

You could simply happen to find a well-qualified black woman without having to limit the search to that demographic.
 
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Reactions: RileyHawk
May 26, 2007
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I think you are overreacting. In a perfect world, selecting the best possible candidate is ideal. Politics is not a perfect world. As it stands now the justices are 7 whites and 2 minorities. Does that represent America? There needs to be more of a balance when making decisions for an entire country that is half minority. I think simply saying that the country needs to try better to reflect its population would be a better message.
"I want to see more people who 'look like me' in positions of power.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Not if they believe that, though! And that?!

Alright, hold up. I want to see people who 'look like me' AND are able to pass my purity tests."
 

Jerome Silberman

HR Legend
Oct 30, 2009
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In the corporate world you are advised to not publicize that you are hiring one based on a specific gender or race, but apparently the POTUS can openly do it and be applauded for it. Just say you are going to hire the best qualified. I think it is demeaning to those hired and those not even given an opportunity.

A Supreme Court Justice isn't "hired".
 

goldmom

HR Legend
Mar 29, 2002
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Unlike so many of the Trump appointees, these women have actually stepped foot in a courtroom, and were not confirmed solely because their grandpappy went to law school with Mitch McConnell.
Which one is that? I must have missed it?
 

lucas80

HR King
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goldmom

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How outraged were you when Reagan was boxed in and was forced to appoint a woman to the SCOTUS, bypassing many men who were much more qualified than O'Connor?
I’m trying to recall the same facts as you...Reagan being boxed in and forced?
Sandra Day O’Connor not qualified? Well, we know she had a tough start after graduating with honors from Stanford. Her experience was not so different from RBG’s in trying to even find a job in a field that was always a boys club. You have an issue with groundbreaking women?