The moment progressives have been waiting for is finally here: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring from the bench, and President Joe Biden has the chance to appoint a successor.
It’s an enormous opportunity for Democrats who are reeling from years of failure and disappointment at the Supreme Court, from the collapse of Merrick Garland’s nomination in 2016 to the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020.
Now, Democrats have a 50-50 majority in the Senate including Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote. And the president is himself a Senate veteran who oversaw the judiciary committee. In other words, Biden knows how to do this.
So far he’s been remarkably effective at pushing through judicial appointments. In his first year in office, he’s had 40 nominees confirmed to the federal bench. That’s more than any president since Ronald Reagan: Bill Clinton and George W. Bush each got 23 appointments their first year, Barack Obama secured 13, and Donald Trump got 19.
Mike Davis, a former Republican Senate aide who was instrumental in pushing through Trump’s judicial nominees, told Insider’s C. Ryan Barber and Camila DeChalus that he thinks the appeals court judge is “far and away the leading contender.”
He added that the timing of Breyer’s retirement also plays in Jackson’s favor because if nominated for the high court, Jackson will go into it having served on the DC circuit court for a year, nullifying any suggestions that she isn’t prepared for the job.