For the first time in history, US President Joe Biden has stated that he will appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The candidate will fill the seat held by liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, who is retiring in June.
On Thursday, Mr. Biden appeared alongside Mr. Breyer and vowed a replacement with the “experience and integrity” required for the job.
He stated that he will make his decision before the end of February. Three judges are regarded as front-runners.
Ketanji Brown Jackson
Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, is largely regarded as the leading candidate to succeed Justice Breyer.
Ms Jackson was born in Washington, DC, and reared in Miami. She presently serves on the DC Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. Three of the present justices were formerly on the court.
“Presidents are not monarchs,” she said in a judgement in 2019 ordering a former Trump advisor to testify in the Russia investigation.
“They don’t have subjects whose fate they have the right to influence because of loyalty or blood.”
The lawyer earned two degrees from Harvard University, one as an undergraduate and the other as a law student, during which time she served as editor of the Harvard Law Review.
She spearheaded demonstrations against a student who hung a Confederate flag from his dorm window during her stay at Harvard.
Her parents are both teachers who began their careers as graduates of historically black universities.
Ms. Jackson has previously worked as a law clerk for three federal judges, including Justice Breyer from 1999 to 2000.
She was one of President Biden’s first judicial nominees in January 2021, to replace the vacancy left by his current Attorney General, Merrick Garland.
Paul Ryan, the former House Speaker and ex-Republican vice presidential candidate, introduced her during that confirmation hearing; Mr Ryan is a cousin by marriage.
“Our politics may differ, but I have nothing but praise for Ketanji’s intellect, character, and integrity,” he said.
Ms Jackson has two children and her spouse is a surgeon.
Leondra Kruger, 45, has served on the California Supreme Court for the past eight years.
She is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, where she was the first black woman to serve as editor of the Yale Law Journal. She was born in Pasadena to a Jamaican immigrant mother and a Jewish father.
She made history when she became the first California Supreme Court judge to give birth while on the bench in 2016.
Ms. Kruger previously served at the Obama Justice Department from 2007 to 2013.
As a deputy to the Solicitor General, the officer who represents the government before the top court, she argued 12 matters before the US Supreme Court during her service.
She allegedly turned down offers to be Solicitor General on two occasions.
The lawyer previously worked as a law clerk for late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
Her spouse is an attorney, and she is the mother of two small children.
J Michelle Childs
Since 2010, Julianna Michelle Childs, 55, has been a federal judge in South Carolina.
She has also served as a judge on the state’s circuit court.
Unlike Ms. Jackson and Ms. Kruger, Ms. Childs attended the University of South Carolina Law School rather than an Ivy League school.
She was the first black female partner at a major legal firm in the state when she went into solo practice.
Because of her unconventional resume, Congressman Jim Clyburn, a prominent black leader in the state whose backing of Mr Biden is largely credited with salvaging his 2020 campaign, has urged for Ms Childs to be nominated.
Ms Childs was recently nominated to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals by Vice President Biden.