Media consensus names Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as likely frontrunner for SCOTUS nomination

President Joe Biden is expected to announce this month his replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, and he has reiterated his 2020 campaign vow to choose a nominee solely from a group of black women candidates.

The apparent frontrunner for that Supreme Court nomination is federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who just last year was appointed by Biden and confirmed by the Senate to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Conservative Brief reported.

That D.C. appeals court has long been viewed as the second most consequential court in the nation and on several occasions has served as a stepping stone for previous Supreme Court justices.

Meet the likely frontrunner

It was a recent lengthy profile piece by the Los Angeles Times that effectively declared Judge Jackson as the likely frontrunner among the crop of candidates likely under consideration by President Biden, though that had been the prevailing narrative among court watchers and political pundits for some time.

Her potential future on the nation’s highest court had begun to be discussed when Biden had first nominated Jackson to the D.C. Circuit court, where she filled the vacancy left by Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The Times noted that Jackson was confirmed by a vote of 53-44 in 2021, meaning at least three Republican senators saw fit to support her in the evenly split legislative body.

Judge Jackson had previously served as a D.C. District Court judge after being nominated and confirmed to that role in 2013 during former President Barack Obama’s tenure in office.

String of rulings overturned by higher courts

Of course, being named as a frontrunner also means being subjected to additional scrutiny, and Fox News reported that Jackson’s limited record on the federal bench is receiving exactly that, with particular attention paid to rulings she made that were later overturned on appeal by higher courts.

Carrie Severino, president of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, told Fox, “Judge Jackson’s record of reversals by the left-leaning D.C. Circuit is troubling for anyone concerned about the rule of law.”

“For example, in Make the Road New York v. Wolf, a D.C. Circuit panel composed of a majority of Democratic nominees concluded that Jackson had set aside a Trump administration rule where there was no legal basis to do so,” the legal activist added. “Cases like these suggest that Jackson might be willing in politically charged cases to ignore the law to deliver a particular policy outcome, and that’s not what we want to see from a Supreme Court justice.”

Jackson one of around a dozen potential candidates considered by Biden

Fox News noted that while Republicans had already questioned Judge Jackson’s record of reversals and would undoubtedly do so again if she is nominated, there are myriad reasons why lower court rulings are sometimes overturned and are not always necessarily the fault of anything a lower court judge may have said or done in a case.

Also, for what it is worth, while Judge Jackson may indeed be the frontrunner to win Biden’s nomination, she certainly isn’t the only black woman under consideration for the position, and CBS News recently reported that the president and his team were considering as many as a dozen or more possible candidates for the impending Supreme Court vacancy.

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