The Politics of the Jackson Supreme Court Pick

From by Eugene Daniels headlined “The politics of the Jackson pick”:

SCOTUS POLITICS — Judge KETANJI BROWN JACKSON was always the most obvious choice to be President JOE BIDEN’s choice for the Supreme Court. She clerked for the man she would replace, Justice STEPHEN BREYER. Her background in criminal defense and public interest law made her a favorite of many Democrats. Indeed, she’d be the first public defender to serve on the court.

Jackson also got major points on the left for penning opinions rejecting DONALD TRUMP’s sweeping claims of executive privilege during the House investigation into his dealings with Ukraine and the D.C. Circuit decision that denied his effort to block White House records from the committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot.

And she was the most likely to receive all 50 votes from Democrats. 

The left grumbled over South Carolina Judge MICHELLE CHILDS’ resume, especially her time at a corporate law firm. Had she managed to win the unanimous support of Democrats, it would have happened grudgingly, given how negatively progressives reacted to her potential nomination.

At the beginning of the month, when asked about the possible choices, Sen.BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vt.) said: “You want somebody who is going to be reflective of the needs of working families and understands that we are moving towards an oligarchy in this country.”

Now, Senate Democrats are pretty optimistic that Jackson will unite the caucus, our Senate ace Burgess Everett reports: “Given the party’s success over the past year at confirming lower-level judges and the dearth of defections, [Senate Majority Leader CHUCK] SCHUMER said in a statement to POLITICO that he believes ‘that unity will continue as we move forward with Judge Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination.’”

As Burgess points out, it will still be a grueling six weeks leading into Easter break for Democrats to get Jackson confirmed.

The flip side of progressive enthusiasm about Jackson, of course, is the likelihood that, unlike Childs, Biden’s pick will likely receive scant GOP support. Both South Carolina Republican senators, LINDSEY GRAHAM and TIM SCOTT, were publicly supportive of Childs and signaled they’d be a “yes” if she were the nominee, possibly making up for any defections from the left. Both issued statements signaling their disappointment, with Graham writing that Jackson’s nomination “means the radical Left has won President Biden over yet again.”

FWIW: When Jackson was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit Court less than a year ago, she received three GOP votes, including from Graham.

AND A SIDE NOTE: If Jackson gets confirmed on a party-line vote, Democrats would celebrate the first woman of color to serve as VP, KAMALA HARRIS,breaking the tie in the Senate.

One place where we’re not seeing consternation over the selection of Jackson is from Democrats in the pro-Childs camp. Even while pushing the South Carolina judge, folks went to great lengths to make sure they weren’t pitting the two frontrunners against each other. And since Biden’s announcement, there’s been nothing but praise for Jackson.

The most closely watched reaction to Jackson was that of House Majority Whip JIM CLYBURN (D-S.C.), a key Biden ally and the person who gets the credit for extracting Biden’s promise to nominate a Black woman to begin with. Clyburn was quick to praise Biden’s pick in a statement and defended her against Graham’s criticism. “I do not see Judge Brown Jackson as being radical at all,” Clyburn told reporters.

Others who lobbied for Childs reacted similarly. Their reasoning? The possibility of getting any qualified Black woman on the highest court in the land is too important to not jump on board.

A South Carolina politician who knows Childs, TAMEIKA ISAAC DEVINE, summed it up this way: “For most people, especially Black women, we look at this being our time and that it is our time to have a Black woman. So no matter whether your personal pick got selected or not, any of those women are very qualified. And it’s a great moment of pride for all of us to have a Black woman nominated to be on the highest court in the land.


“Four Black women became classmates, roommates and lifelong sisters. One of them is now a historic nominee for the Supreme Court,”by The 19th’s Errin Haines

“That time Jackson shredded Trump in a federal court ruling,” by Josh Gerstein

“How a High School Debate Team Shaped Ketanji Brown Jackson,” by NYT’s Patricia Mazzei in Pinecrest, Fla.

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