Biden’s Supreme Court Pick


Misha Ankudovych, Editor-In-Chief

Biden’s Supreme Court Pick is an immense step for both women and people of color, but misses the mark at creating a court that “looks like the country.”

President Biden recently fulfilled his campaign promise to nominate the first woman of color to the Supreme Court with the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson. Judge Jackson is an extremely inspiring and successful woman who would be an amazing addition to the Supreme Court. 

Judge Jackson was born on September 14th, 1970. Her father was a teacher turned lawyer and her mother, a teacher who later became a high school principal. She grew up in Miami, Florida and eventually went on to receive an A.B. In government at Harvard University, and also graduated from Harvard Law School, where she was the supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. 

After law school, Judge Jackson went on to complete a number of clerkships, including one with the Supreme Court, as well as spending some time in private practice. Most notably however, was Jackson’s record as a public defender who won unlikely victories against the state which greatly shortened or sometimes even eliminated prison sentences. 

She has served honorably as a district and appellate judge, as well as the vice-chair of the United States Sentencing Commission. 

Does this “look like the country”? 

When nominating Judge Jackson, President Biden expressed his excitement that he is helping to make the Supreme Court “look like the country’. Judge Jackson is an amazingly talented woman, and is more than qualified to be an astounding Supreme Court justice; however, Biden’s nomination falls short of providing truly unique thoughts and opinions onto the Supreme Court. 

8 out of 9 Supreme Court justices attended either Yale or Harvard Law, the one outlier being judge Amy Coney Barrett (who’s self proclaimed mentor, Antonia Scalia is a Harvard law graduate). Education from these programs cost over 2 times as much as the average law degree, and does not represent an education readily available or accessible to most people within the country.

While it is undeniable that socioeconomic and racial backgrounds play an important role in the development of a person, the education they receive is an essential factor as well, especially in a role where these judges are using their interpretations of the law to influence the lives of millions of American citizens, as law school plays a large role in the formation of legal opinions. Having a court which is so heavily dominated by a single type of environment that is so drastically different from what is accessible to the typical American person has the potential to create a court of people interpreting laws for citizens they will never be able to understand.