By Sam Boyce
Justice Stephen Breyer, who had served on the US Supreme Court since 1994 has officially announced his retirement. First nominated by Bill Clinton, Breyer has served the Supreme Court for 28 years. Breyer’s service on the court will be remembered and honored in our country. But the more exciting aspect of his retirement is Biden’s pick for the next judge.
It has been said that Biden has promised to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court. This pick would be monumental to our country, as the first black woman on the US Supreme Court. Democrats across the country are pushing Biden to do so, but he hasn’t officially said anything as of this moment. Democratic Representative Ro Khanna says “My first thought is just that it moves us one step closer in a long journey towards racial justice, it’s really about what you want America to be over the next 50 years.” This quote demonstrates a small aspect of why Democrats are pushing for the pick to be a black woman. The first black woman to serve on a federal appeals court in the US was appointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. Since then, only seven black women have served in the same position. Biden’s promise, however, can not be taken with a full heart by most. LaTosha Brown, a co-founder of Black Voters Matter, is especially skeptical of his promise. She says “Black women have stood on the front lines of democracy, not just for ourselves but for others.”. She is referring to the promise Biden made to voters of South Carolina in his early campaign. So sure, this promise of electing a black woman to the Supreme Court is monumental, but only if Biden will live up to it.
The election of a Democratic judge will do little to balance out the conservative:liberal ratio of the judges. During Donald Trump’s presidency, he appointed three judges, making the ratio 6:3. On the short list of possible picks are Ketanji Brown Jackson, a graduate of Harvard Law School, a clerk of Justice Breyer, and a judge for the US Court of Appeals in Washington DC, and Leondra R. Kruger, who graduated from Yale Law School, clerked for former Justice John Paul Stevens, and is a justice on the California Supreme Court. J. Michelle Childs, who Biden has recently nominated to a court of appeals, is also seen as a contender. The election of a black woman to the Supreme Court may not do much to the political stance of the court, but would change America for years to come, and as Representative Khanna said, “moves us one step closer in a long journey towards racial justice”.
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Michael. “Biden Expected to Nominate a Black Woman to the Supreme Court.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Jan. 2022, http://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/26/us/politics/supreme-court-nominee-black-woman.html.
Rogers, Katie, and Annie Karni. “Breyer’s Retirement Gives Democrats a Dose of (Cautious) Optimism.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Jan. 2022, http://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/26/us/politics/democrats-stephen-breyer-retirement.html.