Ketanji Brown Jackson Considered Controversial Pick for Supreme Court Justice

By Alejandro Ramirez

As Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement on Thursday, Jan. 27, President Biden has scrambled to find a worthy and qualified replacement for him. He nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Jackson’s nomination has been considered a bit controversial thanks to President Biden’s statement made in June 2020 where he stated that he would like to nominate a black woman as a Supreme Court Judge. He also repeated this sentiment on January 27.

Some Republicans have accused President Biden’s pick to have only been picked because of her race rather than her qualifications.

According to President Biden, his nomination criteria were based on qualifications. To be exact, he stated that his process will be rigorous.

Jackson was officially nominated on Feb. 25. 

According to William Myers, a Political Science associate professor at The University of Tampa, Jackson is an outlining pick because of her background.

“There is a real problem on the supreme court with experience and with diversity of experience, said Myers. “Most Supreme Court Judges have the same background.”

According to Myers, Most Supreme Court justices went to an Ivy League school, went and clerked for a Supreme Court Justice, got a job at the justice department, worked at an appellate litigation for a big DC court, got a job as an appellate court judge, and then they became a supreme court justice.  

“We don’t actually have people who have practiced law,” said Myers. “These are people who have just gone to law school and then they’ve just done appellate legal work. Never trial work.”

Jackson’s experience includes graduating from Harvard, working under a supreme justice clerkship, and also public defending; something that isn’t normally done by other Supreme Court nominees. 

This type of experience is something that Myers believes will greatly benefit the current Supreme Court Justices.

“It’s going to be important for her new colleagues so that they can get firsthand accounts of what it’s like to actually do the job,” said Myers. “This type of experience is something that is sorely missing from the US Supreme Court for the past 30 years.”

This type of experience can’t be understated. US polls show that at least 58 percent of Americans support Jackson’s nomination thanks to her extensive background qualifications. Even some Senate Republicans have stated that they would vote for her.

On March 30, Senate Republican Susan Collins stated her intention to vote to confirm Jackson. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has also stated his intention to support Jackson. 

According to an article by USA Today, Manchin says that Jackson is an extremely qualified individual after listening to her Senate Judiciary Hearing, analyzing her record, and speaking with her.

According to Myers, this type of support shows that Jackson “has an incredible resume and a background which makes her an impossible nominee to argue against.”

Photo Courtesy of CNBC

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