Biden Opts for Radical over Bipartisan Pick to Fill SCOTUS Affirmative-Action Seat

'Even while facing the possibility of a global war instigated by Russia, the president opportunistically took advantage of a distracted media to leak the planned announcement...'

(Headline USA) With the outbreak of a global war to ensure limited public vetting, President Joe Biden laid his opening bid in a Supreme Court battle by casting off a candidate who had broad bipartisan support in favor of a more radical judge backed by radical activist groups.

Biden on Friday will nominate federal appeals court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, according to a person familiar with the matter, making good on his affirmative-action campaign-trail pledge to consider only black females.

While Biden’s racist and sexist decree garnered controversy, with many pointing out that it would be illegal under any other circumstances, some still retained hope that his pledge to select a wholly qualified candidate might translate to one with widespread bipartisan backing.

Instead, Biden’s choice of Jackson signals that the president continues to capitulate to the most extreme fringes of his party, even as indications show the possibility of severe political consequences in the coming midterm election for his mandate-violating refusal to govern from the center.

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Jackson was the preferred candidate of Justice Democrats, the far-left activist group that waged an active pressure campaign to force Justice Stephen Breyer to announce his retirement in January and has, among other things, endorsed court-packing to offset the court’s slight conservative majority.

In addition to meeting the race and gender criteria, Jackson checks other boxes that pander to the leftist Establishment. She would be the high court’s first former public defender, though she also possesses the elite legal background of other justices.

Jackson, 51, once worked as one of Breyer’s law clerks early in her legal career. She attended Harvard as an undergraduate and for law school, and served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the agency that develops federal sentencing policy, before becoming a federal judge in 2013.

Jackson’s nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority by a razor-thin 50–50 margin with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaker. Party leaders have promised swift but deliberate consideration of the president’s nominee.

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin has said that he wants the Senate to move quickly on the nomination, and senators have set a goal of confirmation by mid-April.

However, it will still be several weeks before Sen. Ben Ray Lujan, recovering from a stroke, is able to return for the vote, MSN reported. Democrats would need Lujan’s vote to confirm Biden’s pick if no Republicans support her.

Once the nomination is sent to the Senate, it is up to the Senate Judiciary Committee to vet the nominee and hold confirmation hearings. After the committee approves a nomination, it goes to the Senate floor for a final vote.

Even while facing the possibility of a global war instigated by Russia, which thus far has ignored the toothless threat of sanctions from the Biden administration, the president opportunistically took advantage of a distracted media to leak the planned announcement.

It was unclear which story was intended to misdirect from the other, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also choosing the Friday cycle to stealthily roll back its failed mask mandates.

All of the slow-burning, pre-planned events may yet be intended as a barage of more favorable coverage to counter the negative attention Biden is facing in other areas.

Inflation and spiking gas prices seem to be the prime concerns of most Americans, while the ongoing border crisis has fallen out of the news cycle. Biden’s coronavirus handling also has become a liability, with trucker convoys like the Canadian Freedom Convoy making their way toward Washington, DC, and many blue-state governors openly defying the administration’s COVID policies.

All of these likely will contribute to a climate where considerably less focus falls on Jackson’s qualifications than those of her immediate predecessors, justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, both of whom received considerable resistance from the Left.

While Barrett was confirmed just four weeks after she was nominated ahead of the 2020 election, the process usually takes several weeks longer than that.

Jackson was on the president’s short list as a potential nominee even before Breyer retired. Biden and his team spent weeks poring over her records, interviewing her friends and family and looking into her background.

Biden has said he was interested in selecting a nominee in the mold of Breyer who could be a persuasive force with fellow justices. While leftists have suggested that he saw the “gray area” in cases, he remained a reliable member of the court’s liberal voting bloc, even as it moved farther to the left of center.

Jackson serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a position that Biden elevated her to last year from her previous job as a federal trial court judge. Three current justices—Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh and John Roberts, the chief justice—previously served on the same court.

Jackson was confirmed to that post on a 53-44 Senate vote, winning the backing of three Republicans: South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski.

Another GOP connection: Jackson is related by marriage to former House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, although Ryan is largely regarded as a Republican in name only by conservatives.

The choice of Jackson also is a slap in the face to Graham, who had signaled his preference for Judge Michelle Childs, a South Carolina jurist who did not have the elite, Ivy League pedigree but did have a more moderate record in her rulings.

By contrast, Jackson carries with her a number of politically charged decisions that may further polarize the selection process.

In one of Jackson’s most high-profile decisions, as a trial court judge she ordered former White House Counsel Don McGahn to appear before Congress. That was a setback to former President Donald Trump’s efforts to keep his top aides from testifying. The case was appealed, and a deal was ultimately reached for McGahn’s testimony.

Another highly visible case that Jackson oversaw involved the online conspiracy theory “pizzagate,” which revolved around salacious internet rumors about prominent Democrats harboring child sex slaves at a Washington pizza restaurant. A North Carolina man showed up at the restaurant with an assault rifle and a revolver. Jackson called it “sheer luck” no one was injured and sentenced him to four years in prison.

Jackson has a considerably shorter record as an appeals court judge. She was part of a three-judge panel that ruled in December against Trump’s effort to assert executive privilege to shield documents from the partisan House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021,uprising at the U.S. Capitol.

Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Miami. She has said that her parents, Johnny and Ellery Brown, chose her name to express their pride in her family’s African ancestry. They asked an aunt who was in the Peace Corps in Africa at the time to send a list of African girls’ names and they picked Ketanji Onyika, which they were told meant “lovely one.”

Jackson traces her interest in the law to when she was in preschool and her father was in law school and they would sit together at the dining room table, she with coloring books and he with law books.

Her father became an attorney for the county school board and her mom was a high school principal. She has a brother who is nine years younger who served in the Army, including in Iraq, and is now a lawyer.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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