Joe Biden has announced a “trailblazing” set of 11 federal judicial nominees, including three Black women, reports Reuters. Ketanji Brown Jackson, a U.S. district judge, was nominated on Tuesday to replace Attorney General Merrick Garland on the influential U.S. appeals court for the District of Columbia circuit. On the campaign trail last year, Biden pledged to name the first Black woman to the Supreme Court. Jackson, who regularly clashed with the Trump administration, now moves into that spotlight. Many liberals are eyeing retirement for Stephen Breyer, at 82 the oldest member of the court, for whom Jackson once clerked.
Biden’s first set of judicial picks also includes the first Muslim, New Jersey judge Zahid Quraishi, to be named to a district court. McConnell and Trump placed three justices on the supreme court, giving it a 6-3 conservative majority. But the extensive reshaping of the judiciary below the highest court could have a more lasting effect. Among other appointments, Florence Pan will if confirmed be the first Asian-American woman on the DC district court, while Lydia Griggsby will be the first Black woman on the Maryland district court. Judge Rupa Ranga Puttagunta, a Washington, D.C. local judge of Indian ancestry, is nominated for D.C. superior court. On Tuesday Biden also named Candace Jackson-Akiwumi for the Chicago-based seventh circuit and Tiffany Cunningham for the federal circuit in Washington.