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President Biden picks Judge Ketanji...

President Biden picks Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as SCOTUS nominee to replace Justice Breyer

By: Sarah Ulmer - February 25, 2022

Both Mississippi Senator Wicker and Hyde-Smith previously voted against confirming Jackson to sit on a federal court.

On Friday, President Joe Biden said he will nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson as an Associate Justice of the U.S Supreme Court to fill the seat after the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer.

Breyer, 83, announced his retirement in January of 2022.

Jackson is currently a judge on U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. If confirmed, she will be the first black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, fulfilling a promise Biden made to his supporters.

According to a press release sent out by the White House, President Biden has been working since Breyer’s announcement to determine his replacement.

“President Biden sought a candidate with exceptional credentials, unimpeachable character, and unwavering dedication to the rule of law. He also sought a nominee—much like Justice Breyer—who is wise, pragmatic, and has a deep understanding of the Constitution as an enduring charter of liberty. And the President sought an individual who is committed to equal justice under the law and who understands the profound impact that the Supreme Court’s decisions have on the lives of the American people,” said the release.

Judge Jackson is a former clerk for Justice Breyer and has broad experience in the legal profession as a federal appellate judge, federal district court judge, a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, attorney in private practice and federal public defender.

Mississippi U.S. Senator Roger Wicker issued a statement on Friday on the news of Jackson’s nomination by the President, noting that he voted against her confirmation to the D.C. Circuit less than a year ago.

“The confirmation of a justice to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court is a solemn responsibility that deserves the full engagement of the U.S. Senate,” Wicker said. “Less than a year ago, I voted against Judge Jackson’s confirmation to the D.C. Circuit because of her left-wing, activist judicial philosophy. That said, I expect the Senate will accord her all the courtesy and respect that was not shown to Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Miguel Estrada, and Janice Rogers Brown.

Senator Wicker says he looks forward to meeting with Judge Jackson in the near future.

Mississippi’s other U.S. Senator, Cindy Hyde-Smith, also voted against Jackson’s recent confirmation in June 2021. She issued the following statement Friday afternoon:

“I congratulate Judge Jackson on being the first African American woman nominated to serve on the Supreme Court.

“The advice and consent role of the U.S. Senate under the Constitution is a vital part of the incredibly important responsibility of filling a seat on the nation’s highest court, and I take this duty very seriously.

“I look forward to meeting Judge Jackson in person as part of a careful evaluation of her background, record, and judicial philosophy.  I believe Supreme Court justices must be wholly committed to faithfully upholding our Constitution and the laws of our nation, and should not be activists on the bench.”

Judge Jackson has been confirmed by the Senate with bipartisan three times.

About Jackson

Judge Jackson has had a long career in public service—as a U.S. Sentencing Commission lawyer and commissioner; as a federal public defender; and as a federal judge. She currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. From 2013 to 2021, she served as a United States District Judge for the District of Columbia.

Jackson was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Miami, Florida. Her parents both started their careers as public school teachers and became leaders and administrators in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Jackson went on to attend Harvard where he graduated magna cum laude, and then attended Harvard Law School, where she graduated cum laude and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

After law school, Judge Jackson served in Justice Breyer’s chambers as a law clerk. She served as a federal public defender from 2005 to 2007, representing defendants on appeal who did not have the means to pay for a lawyer. If confirmed, she would be the first former federal public defender to serve on the Supreme Court.

Judge Jackson is married to husband, Patrick, who serves as Chief of the Division of General Surgery at Georgetown University Hospital, and they have two daughters.

About the Author(s)
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Sarah Ulmer

Sarah is a Mississippi native, born and raised in Madison. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University, where she studied Communications, with an emphasis in Broadcasting and Journalism. Sarah’s experience spans multiple mediums, including extensive videography with both at home and overseas, broadcasting daily news, and hosting a live radio show. In 2017, Sarah became a member of the Capitol Press Corp in Mississippi and has faithfully covered the decisions being made by leaders on some of the most important issues facing our state. Email Sarah: