Black leaders, civil rights groups cheer Biden court pick

Article from the Hill

“Black leaders and civil rights groups on Friday celebrated President Biden‘s forthcoming nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court, which will fulfill his campaign pledge to nominate a Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court.

“This is a tremendously historic moment for our nation and our community in particular. President Biden has met this moment with an extraordinarily qualified nominee, who has stellar credentials and an impeccable background,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement.

Jennifer Jones Austin, vice-chair of the National Action Network civil rights group, emphasized Jackson would make history as both the first Black woman on the Supreme Court and the first public defender to serve on the bench if she is confirmed to replace the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

“Not only does Judge Brown Jackson have the legal background that makes her more than qualified to perform the duties of a Supreme Court Justice, but she would bring the Court a distinct and increasingly indispensable perspective on how the laws of this land affect a vital and all too often neglected segment of our population,” Jones Austin said in a statement.

Holli Holiday, president of Sisters Lead Sisters Vote, an advocacy group that has pushed for a Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, noted Biden’s announcement coincides with the second anniversary of when he pledge to put a Black woman on the high court.

“Representation on the Supreme Court matters. Justices have ruled on every aspect of our lives. Decisions have legalized school segregation and later school integration; same-sex marriage; and woman’s reproductive right to an abortion,” Holliday said in a statement.

“Judge Jackson is ready to serve from day one. With her qualifications and experience, she has earned bipartisan support,” Holliday added. “We call on the 100 members of the Senate to conduct a fair and respectful nomination process that is free of personal attacks and slow walking. Let us showcase to the world a swift and unanimous confirmation for a historic nominee.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who leads the African American Mayors Association, said Jackson’s perspective will be critical as the court weighs cases on affirmative action and voting rights.

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, noted Jackson will bring the perspective of a lifetime as a Black woman, “something our nation’s highest court has never seen, making the bench look more like the makeup of our nation.”

Stacey Abrams, a Democrat running for governor in Georgia, called it a “proud day for all Americans of good conscience.”


Biden announced Friday morning his intention to nominate Jackson to replace Breyer on the Supreme Court. The president will formally introduce Jackson at an event on Friday afternoon.

Jackson has spent the last eight months serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a role she was chosen for after eight years as a federal district judge in D.C.

She was confirmed to her current role in a 53-47 vote, with three Republicans voting in her favor along with all 50 Democrats in the Senate. Democratic leaders have said they hope to hold confirmation proceedings in March, with a final vote on Jackson’s confirmation in early April.”