As a candidate, President Joe Biden earned mixed reviews for his promise to nominate a Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court if given the chance to fill a vacancy. Although that opportunity has yet to arise, the president might be setting himself up to make good on his promise.
Biden recently announced his second nomination of a Black female judge to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which is widely seen as a stepping stone for future Supreme Court justices.
“The diversity that is one of our greatest assets”
One-third of the current Supreme Court bench — Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh — served on the D.C. circuit prior to ascending to the nation’s highest court.
In a White House statement on Thursday, Biden confirmed that his final two judicial nominations of the year would be Judge J. Michelle Childs and Nancy Gbana Abudu, both Black women.
“These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds,” the statement proclaimed.
The White House went on to note that Biden has already made 75 judicial nominations, including 40 already confirmed to the district or circuit court level. Of those 40, more than half are minorities and a whopping 80% are women.
As Fox News noted, if Childs is confirmed by the Senate, she would join Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was nominated to fill the D.C. Circuit Court position vacated by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“She’s served with distinction”
While there are no immediate vacancies on the Supreme Court, Justice Stephen Breyer has been at the center of speculation that he might be considering retirement at the end of the court’s current term.
In such a scenario, Biden would be in a position to put forward a nominee — potentially either Jackson or Childs.
The decision to emphasize diversity within the federal court system received plenty of praise from within the Democratic Party.
House Democratic Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), who was integral in securing the 2020 presidential nomination for Biden, cheered the selection of Childs to serve on the prestigious D.C. circuit.
In a tweet on Thursday, he declared: “She’s served with distinction on the U.S. District Court in SC, and I believe her background and experiences make her well suited for this position.”