Four Black women made the list of judicial nominees, including former public defenders and civil rights attorneys, showing Biden has heeded progressive calls and kept his own promises to diversify federal judges’ legal backgrounds.
“This list powerfully affirms that nominees who are racially diverse and whose professional background reflects a broad range of practice are available to serve on the federal bench,” Sherrilyn Ifill, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund President and Director-Counsel said in a statement. “Such diversity will greatly enhance the judiciary and judicial decision-making.”
It has been at least a decade since a Black woman has been nominated to a federal court of appeals. Only eight Black women have served overall.
Here’s some more information about the Black people who Biden has nominated to the federal court.
Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as Attorney General Merrick Garland’s replacement on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Since 2013, Jackson has served as a judge for the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia.
She was also once a clerk for Justice Stephen Breyer. Jackson was also a public defender for a time. According to NPR, Jackson was vice-chairperson for the U.S. Sentencing Commission, working “to reduce the draconian penalties that had been in place for crack cocaine.”
In a decision ordering a Trump advisor to testify before a House committee, Jackson put the former president in his place on the subject of immunity. “Presidents are not kings,” wrote Jackson. “In this land of liberty, it is indisputable that current and former employees of the White House work for the people of the United States.”
Jackson was also reportedly considered for President Barack Obama’s shortlist for U.S. Supreme Court nominees in 2016.
Biden pledged to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court when a vacancy arises. Groups like #SheWillRise sees the nominations as a step toward nominating a Black woman to the nation’s highest court.
“Systemic racism in America persists, in part, because our courts, legislatures, and civil services for the people of the United States have always been predominantly white and male,” She Will Rise Cohort Member and civil rights attorney, Kimberly Tignor, said in a statement. Tignor said nominating Black women creates a pipeline to the Supreme Court and increases the federal judiciary’s integrity.
Nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, also served as a federal public defender. Jackson-Akiwumi is the first Black woman and the second person of color to serve on the court. She served from 2010 to 2020.
Patent lawyer Tiffany Cunningham is the first Black woman to be appointed to the Federal Circuit Appeals Court. The federal circuit handles claims against the government.
Currently serving on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Judge Lydia Griggsby was nominated for the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. Griggsby will make the first Black woman to serve on the Maryland bench.
Julien Neals was again nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Obama originally nominated Neals in 2015, but Republican petty indefinitely delayed the confirmation. Once confirmed, he will be the first Black judge for that district.
Women's History Month: Celebrating Black Women Pioneers And Their Many Historic Firsts
1. Kamala Harris, first woman and Black woman Vice President of the United StatesSource:Getty 1 of 21
2. Barbara Jordan, First Black Woman Elected Into Congress from the SouthSource:Getty 2 of 21
3. Bianca Smith, MLB’s first Black woman coach
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"I only saw women in the front office. I didn't see women on the field, so it never occurred to me to be a coach until I actually got on the field myself and realized, 'Okay this is something I can do.'"@RedSox coach Bianca Smith is ready to pave the way. pic.twitter.com/unnoZoAH4L— MLB (@MLB) February 3, 2021
4. Mae C. Jemison, First Black Woman in SpaceSource:Getty 4 of 21
5. Amanda Gorman, the nation’s youngest inaugural poetSource:Getty 5 of 21
6. Bessie Coleman, First Black Woman PilotSource:Getty 6 of 21
7. Mellody Hobson, first Black woman to chair Starbucks' boardSource:Getty 7 of 21
8. Mary Jackson, First Black Woman to Work for NASASource:Getty 8 of 21
9. Meisha Ross Porter, first Black woman to be NYC Schools ChancellorSource:NYC Dept. Of Education 9 of 21
10. Hattie McDaniel, First Black Woman to Win an Academy AwardSource:Getty 10 of 21
11. Jennifer King, First Black Woman NFL CoachSource:Getty 11 of 21
12. Alice Coachman, First Black Woman To Win an Olympic Gold MedalSource:Getty 12 of 21
13. Oprah Winfrey, First Black Woman BillionaireSource:Getty 13 of 21
14. Madam C.J. Walker, First Woman Millionaire In AmericaSource:Getty 14 of 21
15. Nia DaCosta, first Black woman to direct a Marvel movieSource:Getty 15 of 21
16. Mariya Russell, First Black Woman Chef to Earn a Michelin Star
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Meet Mariya Russell, the first Black woman to win a Michelin star in the guide’s 94-year history pic.twitter.com/ZYIq5KqmPL— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 27, 2020
17. Whoopi Goldberg, First Black Woman to Win EGOT (Academy Award, 1990), (Emmy, 2002 & 2009), (Grammy, 1985) and (Tony, 2002)Source:Getty 17 of 21
18. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, First Black Woman to Become a Doctor of Medicine in the U.S.
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This #BlackHistoryMonth we’re highlighting notable African-American public health figures. Meet Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first African-American woman physician. She authored the “Book of Medical Discourses” containing medical advice for women & children. https://t.co/UeUNE1eVRL— FairfaxCounty Health (@fairfaxhealth) February 26, 2020
19. Serena Williams, First Black Woman to Win a Career Grand Slam in TennisSource:Getty 19 of 21
20. Loretta Lynch, First Black Woman to be Attorney General of the U.S.Source:Getty 20 of 21
21. Stacey Abrams, First Black Woman to be a Major Party Nominee for State GovernorSource:Getty 21 of 21
Biden Nominated 5 Black People To Be Federal Judges, And 4 Are Women was originally published on newsone.com