*After news broke of the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer, Black liberals have taken to social media to call on President Joe Biden to fulfill his pledge to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court.
“We are putting together a list of a group of African American women who are qualified and have the experience to be in the court,” he said during the 2020 conference, as reported by CNBC. “I am not going to release that until we go further down the line of vetting them.”
Breyer is retiring after more than 27 years on the court. Following the announcement, there has been an outpouring of statements to Biden about further diversifying the supreme court by adding a Black woman. Per NBC News, “two leading contenders are said to be federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.”
Meet five Black women who Biden is said to be considering to potentially fill Breyer’s seat, via CNBC.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson
Per CNBC: Ketanji Brown Jackson is a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and frontrunner for Breyer’s seat. She’s rumored to be a top prospect for Biden, as he promoted her to her current position just last year. Before this, the DC native was district judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia from 2013 to 2021.
As a lawyer, Leondra Kruger argued 12 cases at the U.S. Supreme Court. As a California Supreme Court justice, she has a liberal-leaning record but has sometimes voted with more conservative colleagues in divided cases. Here’s @AHoweBlogger‘s profile: https://t.co/3xhwGdHDxz
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) January 26, 2022
California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger
Per CNBC: At just 38 years old, Judge Leondra Kruger, another frontrunner, became the youngest appointee to the California Supreme Court in 2014, after being nominated by then-governor Jerry Brown. Her previous experience includes serving as acting deputy solicitor general during the Obama administration, arguing 12 cases before the Supreme Court for the government.
Judge J. Michelle Childs
Per CNBC: Judge Julianna Michelle Childs is currently the U.S. federal judge for the District of South Carolina, a role she’s held for over 10 years. The University of South Carolina law school alumna was also recently nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals by President Biden last month. Previously, Childs spent nine years at Nexsen Pruet’s Columbia office, and became the firm’s first Black partner.
Judge Candace Jackson-Akiwumi
Per CNBC: Judge Candace Jackson Akiwumi is the second Black woman judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. Akiwumi was nominated for the role by President Biden in April of last year. Akiwumi started her legal career clerking for Clinton appointees and then spent more than a decade as an Illinois federal public defender. The Princeton and Yale-educated judge garnered the support of both Democrats and Republicans on June 24, 2021, when she was confirmed for the 7th Circuit.
Judge Eunice Lee
Per CNBC: Judge Eunice Lee, also a Yale graduate, is a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, also nominated by President Biden last year. Lee is the second Black woman to ever serve on the 2nd Circuit and the only judge on the circuit with experience as a public defender. With 21 years of experience, she is the longest-serving public defender to ever serve as a judge on a U.S. Court of Appeals.