Published On: January 28, 2022 at 11:24 IST
The United States is on its way to making history yet again, as President Joe Biden on January 27 said that he will nominate a Black woman to the US Supreme Court for the first time ever, filling the vacancy left by retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.
Like the US Senate, the US Supreme Court has also been a white male bastion in the 230+ years of its existence. There have been 120 Supreme Court justices, and only two are African-American, both men- Justices Thurgood Marshall (1967-1991) and Clarence Thomas (1991-present).
President Biden while publicly committing to nominating a Black woman to the US Apex Court, said that he had made no decision except the person he will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity. He further added that he would seek a speedy nomination process and name his candidate by the end of February.
The Supreme Court is currently split between six conservatives and three liberals. President Biden will now be able to nominate another liberal-leaning Jurist to the Court, maintaining the balance.
Donald Trump, in his tenure as President, had the opportunity to put no fewer than three new Justices on the Court. Thus, fundamentally shifting its political leaning for potentially years to come.
Justice Breyer, in his resignation letter, said that the coordinated plan is to ensure that the succession moves with minimal upheaval. Meanwhile, he confirmed that he will stay on the Court through the packed current term assuming that by then his successor would have been nominated and confirmed.
Back when he was campaigning for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Biden had promised to put an African-American woman on the Court.