So, the SCOTUS nominee coming out of the Biden administration is being hailed as an historic departure from past appointments, and a victory for diversity and racial justice.
It’s nothing of the kind.
What the SCOTUS most needs now is someone who has actually tried a case, to a jury, representing a disfavored litigant. No one presently on the SCOTUS has ever done that. And Ketanji Brown Jackson hasn’t either.
Second place for a shot at actual diversity, as opposed to the pretend diversity Biden’s nominee represents? Someone from outside the Ivy League law school tract.
She spent a year between undergraduate (Harvard, of course) and law school (Harvard again) as a “reporter” and “researcher” at NSA/CIA mouth organ Time magazine.
Beyond that, she was actually born in Washington DC. That would be a down check also, but in mitigation she was raised in Miami.
Also in mitigation, she has a really nice smile, and she served as a District Court judge (not just a Court of Appeals judge), meaning she might have at least presided over a jury trial or two. Her colleagues on the SCOTUS bench have probably not even done that.
She has some background in criminal defense (at the appellate level, not the trial level). That’s also a plus, and differentiates her, in a meaningful way, from her soon-to-be colleagues.
Overall a mixed bag, we think.
Not that it matters what we think, of course.
UPDATE: One rather interesting wild card to take note of. In her law clerk phase, she initially clerked for a District Court judge which, coming from Harvard, means she was discriminated against because of her race, or gender, or both. But when that was rectified and she got a clerkship at the federal court of appeals level, the judge who hired her was the first circuit’s Selya who is the lone judge we have ever praised in these pages.