Senate Confirms Biden's Appellate Court Judge Nominee

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Updated: Jun 15, 2021
Senate Confirms Biden's Appellate Court Judge Nominee

Senate Confirms Biden's Appellate Court Judge Nominee

The Senate has confirmed the first appellate court judge appointed by President Joe Biden.

According to the Associated Press, Senators voted 53-44 to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The court is considered the second most powerful court in the nation and is largely considered a feeder for the Supreme Court.

Jackson replaces Merrick Garland, who vacated the court position to become Biden’s attorney general.

Previously, Biden has promised that he would name a Black woman to the Supreme Court and experts say Jackson could be a leading contender for that pick should a vacancy arise.

Jackson has written some 600 opinions as a district judge in Washington and has also worked as a federal public defender and served as vice-chair on the commission that sets guidelines judges use when sentencing federal offenders.

Jackson is a Harvard Law School graduate. She also clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. She has worked as an assistant federal public defender and also in private law. Former President Barack Obama also nominated Jackson during his administration to serve as a federal district judge in 2012. She was confirmed in 2013.

“Since the establishment of the judiciary, there have only ever been eight Black women to serve on the federal appellate branch,” the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund told senators in a letter supporting Jackson. “Such disparities undermine the legitimacy and integrity of the judicial system.”

Jackson is the most recent minority to take a high-level judicial seat. The nation’s first federal Muslim judge, Zahid Quraishi, was confirmed by the Senate last week. Quraishi will serve as a district court judge in New Jersey. Quraishi previously worked for the U.S. Army’s legal department and served two deployments in Iraq.

The Senate also recently confirmed Regina Rodriguez as a district judge in Colorado and Julien Neals as a district judge in New Jersey.

“Women, especially women of color, have long been underrepresented on the federal bench,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “Along with President Biden, the Senate Democratic majority is working quickly to close the gap.”

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Pool

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

Senate Confirms Biden's Appellate Court Judge Nominee