Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination is rare moment of celebration for Biden

Two years ago exactly, Joe Biden stood on a debate stage in Charleston, South Carolina, his candidacy on the ropes, and made a promise: if elected president, he would nominate the first Black woman to the supreme court.

Days later, Biden won the South Carolina primary on the strength of his support among Black voters. The victory propelled him to the Democratic nomination and then to the presidency. Last month, Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement, presenting Biden with an opportunity to fulfill that campaign commitment.

On Friday, Biden will stand before a podium in the White House’s Cross Hall to nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the nation’s highest court. If eventually confirmed by the senate, she will be the first Black woman to serve on the supreme court in its 232-year history.

It is a rare moment of celebration for Biden, embattled on nearly every front. His once hugely ambitious domestic agenda is stalled, perhaps permanently; the Democrats’ tenuous control of Congress faces historic headwinds; and the international order that Biden spent much of his political career defending faces its gravest threat in decades after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But the nomination of a supreme court justice is one of the most enduring acts of any president’s legacy. And for Biden, it is particularly resonant.

Biden has said that he hopes the diversity he has brought to the federal government will be long-lasting. After serving as the vice-president to the nation’s first Black president, he chose Kamala Harris to be his running mate, which led her to become the first Black and Asian American woman to serve as vice-president.

His cabinet is the most diverse in US history. And in his first year, Biden nominated a record number of district and appeals court judges from a range of racial, ethnic, geographical and legal backgrounds.

Black voters, and Black women especially, were the driving force behind Biden’s nomination and his presidency. Read full story at the guardian.com

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