Joe Biden to select first Black female Supreme Court Justice: Will history be made?

The Supreme Court located in Washington D.C.

The Supreme Court located in Washington D.C.

Since the assembly of the Supreme Court in 1790, 113 justices have served. Of those justices, 107 have been white men. In the 228 years of the Supreme Court’s existence, only 5.3 percent of justices have been women or people of color. Only two Black men have served on the Supreme court, and no Black women at all.  This could change soon.

Justice Stephen Breyer officially retired as a Supreme Court justice in January. Justice Breyer had served on the Supreme Court since 1994 and was known as a judge with fairly liberal beliefs. Justice Breyer’s retirement has provided President Joe Biden with an opportunity to nominate the first Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court by the end of February. This was also one of President Biden’s campaign promises and this could be him keeping his word to his constituents.

“Our process is going to be rigorous. I will select a nominee worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence and decency. While I’ve been studying candidates’ backgrounds and writings[..],”said President Biden. He has received numerous accounts of backlash after this,especially members of the Republican party, some arguing that the candidates chosen so far are “unqualified” or that this is just a show for approval by Joe Biden.

“The idea that race and gender should be the No. 1 and No. 2 criteria is  not as it should be,”said  Maine Senator Susan Collins 

Senator Collins continued by saying “On the other hand, there are many qualified Black women for this post and given that Democrats, regrettably, have had some success in trying to paint Republicans as anti-Black, it may make it more difficult to reject a Black jurist.” Senator Collins has taken up the opinion many members of the Republican party have. As long as the chosen Candidate is qualified, there is no problem. 

A great deal of the selection process has been kept under wraps. Many names have been thrown around such as Anita Earls, District Judge Wilhelmina Wright, Circuit Judge Eunice Lee, and Circuit Judge Candace Jackson-Akiwumi. Although only three candidates have been said to have the greatest chances at being chosen.

Below is an Infographic containing the top three candidates for Justice selection: