On Monday (June 14), the Senate voted to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the influential US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Jackson was nominated by President Joe Biden and confirmed in a 53-44 vote. With her confirmation, Jackson will replace US Attorney General Merrick Garland on the appeals court and become the ninth Black woman ever to serve as a federal appeals court judge.
Jackson, a graduate of Harvard, is among three Black women nominated by Biden to serve in powerful judicial roles. Jackson, 50, has served on the US District Court in Washington since 2013 after being appointed by then-President Barack Obama.
“Judge Jackson’s confirmation will mark the beginning of a new era of a court system that Trump and McConnell have stacked in favor of the rich and powerful,” Chris Kang, chief counsel for Demand Justice said in a statement. “Our judiciary has been dominated by former corporate lawyers and prosecutors for too long, and Judge Jackson’s experience as a public defender makes her a model for the type of judge President Biden and Senate Democrats should continue to prioritize.”
Among Democrats, Jackson is seen as a viable front runner for a Supreme Court seat, if a vacancy becomes available, given her age and experience as a public defender. One of Biden’s campaign promises was to put a Black woman on the Supreme Court, adding to Jackson’s position on many Democrats’ short-lists.
Several Supreme Court Justices, including the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, served on the US Court of Appeals before assuming the bench of the nation’s highest court.