Black Woman SCOTUS Justice ‘Long Overdue,’ Biden Says 

In Summary

Judges Leondra Kruger and Ketanji Brown Jackson are the two frontrunners to replace Justice Stephen Breyer. 

President Joe Biden said Thursday he’s going to nominate a Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying it was “long overdue,” The Associated Press reported.  

Joined by retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, Biden said he would nominate someone by the end of February.   

“I’m here today to express the nation’s gratitude to Justice Stephen Breyer for his remarkable career of public service and his clear-eyed commitment to making our country’s laws work for its people,” Biden said.  

There have been only two Black Justices in the Court’s history, Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas. The Supreme Court has only had one woman of color, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a Latina of Puerto Rican descent.   

RELATED: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Set To Retire

According to the Federal Judicial Center, only five of almost 300 sitting federal judges in the appellate level were Black women when Biden took office. The federal appeals court is where most SCOTUS justices are selected.  

There are two frontrunners for Breyer’s seat, Vox reported. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.   

Jackson, 51, was recently confirmed in the D.C. appeals court. Prior to her time in the appeals court, former President Barack Obama nominated her as a district court judge, according to Vox. She also clerked for Justice Breyer.   

Kruger, 45, was once the acting principal, deputy solicitor general for the Department of justice, before serving on California’s Supreme Court, per Vox.   

“He has a strong pool to select a candidate from, in addition to other sources. This is an historic opportunity to appoint someone with a strong record on civil and human rights,” Derrick Johnson, the NAACP’s president, told AP.   

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