KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced he will retire in June at the end of the current session. It will be President Joe Biden’s responsibility to chose a candidate to fill the seat.
Last month Biden reaffirmed one of his campaign promises and said he planned to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court. He said he will make his selection by the end of February.
4Star Politics’ John Holt and Dave Helling of The Kansas City Star are joined by KU Law Professor Steve McAllister and Michele Watley, founder of Shirley’s Kitchen Cabinet. In this episode, the four talk about the top contenders and their qualifications.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is an attorney serving as a circuit judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Brown Jackson was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Miami. She attended Harvard Law School and was an editor for the Harvard Law Review.
She’s also been in private practice, served as an assistant federal public defender, a commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and on two federal courts.
She clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Judge Justice Stephen Breyer, the judge she may be called on to replace.
Judge J. Michelle Childs
Judge J. Michelle Childs is a U.S. district judge. of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. She’s served in that position since 2010. Legal experts view her as an expert in labor and employment law.
Childs was born in Detroit and moved to South Carolina after her father died when she was a teenager.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree fro the University of South Florida and a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina Law School. She has a degree in personnel and employment relations from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Laws from Duke Law School.
Childs spent nine years working at a private law firm in South Carolina before serving as the deputy director of the Division of Labor in the South Carolina Department of Labor, then as a commissioner on the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
She was elected as a Circuit Court Judge based in Columbia in 2006.
Three years later President Barack Obama nominated her to the U.S. District Court of the District of South Carolina. Cher was confirmed in August 2010.
California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger
California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger was raised in California. She attended school. Polytechnic School, a private school in southern California.
She graduated from Harvard University. Kruger attended Yale Law School where she was editor in chief of the Yale Law Journal.
After graduating, Kruger spent a year as an associate at a Washington, D.C. law firm before clerking for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She then clerked at the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice John Paul Stevens.
Kruger accepted a job as an assistant to the U.S. solicitor general in 2007, before she was named acting principal deputy solicitor general. While holding the position, she argued 12 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
She served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice, before being nominated to serve on the California Supreme Court in 2014.
If nominated and confirmed, Kruger, 45, would be the youngest justice on the Supreme Court.