Ketanji Brown Jackson Big Favorite to Succeed Justice Breyer

Ketanji Brown Jackson Big Favorite to Succeed Justice Breyer Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies before the senate judiciary committee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson (Kevin Lamarque/Getty Images)

John Gizzi By John Gizzi Wednesday, 26 January 2022 06:02 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Just a few hours after reports surfaced of Justice Stephen Breyer potentially announcing his retirement effective in June, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson loomed large as his successor on the Supreme Court.

Jackson meets President Joe Biden's election-year promise to name a Black woman to the high court. Moreover, at 51, the former U.S. District Court judge satisfies the goal of liberal Democrats that a potential justice have a long tenure on the Supreme Court.

Although names of other Black women jurists were mentioned soon after Breyer's rumors surfaced, sources told Newsmax that Jackson had the blessings of Attorney General Merrick Garland (who also served on the D.C. Court of Appeals and was himself an unsuccessful Supreme Court nominee in 2106) and of Breyer himself (for whom Jackson once served as a clerk).

Supporters of Jackson's nomination reminded Newsmax that when she was confirmed to the Court of Appeals last June, the vote in the Senate was 53-44. Three Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., all voted to confirm her.

Like her mentor Breyer, Jackson is widely considered a believer in the "living Constitution" — that is, an interpretation of the Constitution that adapts to changing times, even if the document has not been amended to adapt to change.

A graduate of Harvard Law School and onetime editor of the Harvard Law Review, Jackson worked as a clerk for two federal judges before her clerkship with Breyer.

California Supreme Court Judge Leondra Kruger and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Michelle Childs of South Carolina were also mentioned as potential appointees. But all signs in official Washington on Tuesday pointed to the appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.