President Joe Biden on Friday spoke about his decision to nominate Federal Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, specifically citing her race as one of the main reasons for his decision.
“For too long our government, our courts haven’t looked like America,” the president said during his remarks at the White House while introducing Jackson to the American people. “I believe it’s time we have a court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation.”
Biden reminded Americans of his own legal background, including serving as a lawyer, a former constitutional law professor, and the chairman of the Senate judiciary committee for many years.
“I’m almost reluctant to say: someone who has presided over more Supreme Court nominations than almost anyone living today,” Biden said with a chuckle, joking he was only 28-years-old.
The president referred to Russia’s ongoing attack against Ukraine during his opening remarks.
“Today as we watch freedom and liberty under attack abroad, I’m here to fulfill my responsibilities under the Constitution — to preserve freedom and liberty here in the United States of America,” he said.
Biden thanked Vice President Kamala Harris for helping him make the choice.
“I’ve been fortunate to have the advice of Vice President Harris, and I mean this sincerely,” Biden said.
The president also praised Jackson for having “extraordinary character” an “independent mind,” “uncompromising integrity, a “strong moral compass” and the “courage to stand up for what she thinks is right.”
Jackson was nominated by Biden to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court.
Biden praised Jackson for attending Harvard University and Harvard law school.
“There were those who told her she shouldn’t set her sights too high, but she refused to accept limits others set for her,” Biden said proudly.
The president said Jackson also served as a Supreme Court clerk under Justice Steven Breyer.
Biden pointedly noted that Jackson had received Republican votes in the Senate for previous federal court positions.
“Her opinions are always carefully reasoned, tethered to precedent, and demonstrate respect for how the law impacts everyday people,” Biden said, adding she “understands the broader impact of decisions.”
Biden also reminded his audience that he made the announcement during black history month and that she was a working mother.
“I have children and grandchildren and let me tell you judge, you’re always a mom,” Biden said. “That’s not going to change no matter what you’re doing. Whether you’re on the Supreme Court or not.”