“This is a huge opportunity for us,” said Aimee Allison, founder of She the People, a national organization that encourages women of color to vote. “It turns out that appointing a Black woman (to the Supreme Court) at this moment could help to make up for the policy and political losses that we’ve seen recently.”
Justice Stephen Breyer’s pending retirement, confirmed by numerous sources Wednesday, could not have come at a better time for a Democratic Party reeling from the collapse of Biden’s legislative agenda, including a push to overhaul election laws that voting rights advocates said was critical to protecting democracy.
Democrats are trying to regroup with an eye on maintaining a tenuous grip on Congress after November’s midterm elections, and picking Breyer’s replacement offers a chance to pause from those bruising battles. Democrats hope that with Biden fulfilling a campaign pledge to appoint the first Black woman as a justice, they can energize a dejected base, particularly Black voters whose support will be crucial in the fall campaign.
Among the names being circulated as potential nominees are California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, prominent civil rights lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill and U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs in South Carolina, whom Biden has nominated to be an appeals court judge. Childs is a favorite of Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., who made a crucial endorsement of Biden just before South Carolina’s presidential primary in 2020.
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