Joe Biden to attend Supreme Court ceremony for Ketanji Brown Jackson

President Joe Biden Friday will see an investiture ceremony for his historic Supreme Court pick, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, according to a White House official.

Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will also join the President for the special event at court.

It is a purely ceremonial event. Supreme Court justices must take two oaths when entering the court, one to the Constitution and one to the Judiciary. Jackson, who is the court’s first black woman and also its first former public defender, was sworn in earlier this year. Friday’s ceremony is a chance for Biden to be present as Jackson is sworn in for the second time, which judges sometimes do for optics.

The president’s decision to attend the ceremony, along with his vice president and their two wives, is part of a larger effort by Democrats to publicly celebrate their record of confirming justices ahead of the midterm elections.

They should celebrate: Since taking office, Biden, with the help of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.), has confirmed more than 80 people to federal judgeships for life, which is more that decades of former presidents had confirmed by this point in their terms. Beyond that, Biden has chosen a far more diverse mix of people for federal judgeships than his predecessors, marking a huge shift from the prototype white male corporate lawyers almost always tapped for those jobs.

“About three-quarters of the presidential nominees are women, two-thirds are people of color,” Schumer boasted in the Senate on Wednesday. “One candidate at a time, we are making our federal bench a better reflection of our great country. »

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks during his Supreme Court nomination celebration April 8 at the White House.

Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The president has chosen candidates who are diverse both in terms of demographics like race and gender, but also in terms of professional backgrounds. His legal choices have included public defenders, suffrage lawyers and union organizersin addition to historic firsts with Native Americans, Black woman, LGBTQ nominees and Muslim Americans.

In other words, on Thursday, Biden nominated a total of 143 people for federal judgeships. Among them, 68% are women and 66% are people of color. To be even more specific, of the presidential nominees who are people of color, 31% are African American, 21% are Latino, and 17% are Asian American or Pacific Islander.

The president has made a special effort to confirm more black women to appeals court seats. To date, he has nominated 13 black women to serve as appeals court judges, seven of whom have been confirmed. Before he took office, a total of eight black women had already been appointed as judges on the appeals court – by all previous presidents combined.

Biden’s contenders for those seats include Tiffany Cunningham, who is the first black judge to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, the only woman of color actively serving on the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit; and Judge Eunice Lee, the only black woman actively serving on the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

The main reason Biden was able to confirm so many justices is because Democrats control the Senate, even narrowly. If Republicans regain a majority in November, they would almost certainly end Biden’s streak and halt the judicial confirmation process, as would Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. made to President Barack Obama when he was Majority Leader.

“All of these accomplishments will resonate for years with the lives of the American people. They were hard to do, especially in a 50-50 Senate,” Schumer said Wednesday, tying the Democrats’ success to the upcoming midterm elections.

“I’ve always said, from my earliest days as Majority Leader, that Democrats would be willing to work bipartisanly to get things done whenever we could,” he said. “But of course…when we can’t find common ground, Democrats will stand firm in our defense of our values ​​and show the American people the choice they have in the next election.”


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