President Joe Biden plans to nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, to fill the Supreme Court seat following the retirement of Stephen Breyer, according to the Associated Press and other news outlets.
If confirmed, Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, would be the first Black woman to serve on the court, fulfilling a pledge that Biden made during his presidential campaign. She has been a leading contender to be elevated to the high court. Last year, three Senate Republicans joining with Democrats to confirm her to the influential D.C. circuit.
The news of Jackson’s nomination briefly shifted the focus away from the unfolding crisis in Ukraine on major news networks, while ABC News broke in with a special report, anchored by George Stephanopoulos.
An official announcement is expected at the White House later on Friday.
Serving as a district judge from 2013 to 2021, Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled on a number of high profile cases, including in 2019, when she ruled that the White House could not ignore a congressional subpoena for the testimony of then-White House counsel Don McGahn. “Presidents are not kings,” she wrote.
Jackson served as a law clerk for Breyer. She received a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1996, and was supervising editor of Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1992.
In her confirmation hearing to the Court of Appeals last year, Jackson denied that she ruled in the McGahn case with an eye toward an eventual nomination to the Supreme Court.
“I know very well what my obligations are, what my duties are, not to rule with partisan advantage in mind, not to tailor or craft my decisions in order to try to gain influence or do anything of the sort,” she said, per The Washington Post.
Jackson was born in Washington and raised in Florida.