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Supreme Court Nominees: Another Black woman was considered for the highest U.S. court in the late 1970s

If confirmed, Ketanji Brown Jackson will become the first African American woman to sit on the Supreme Court.

SAN DIEGO — President Biden announced his nominee for the Supreme Court Friday, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. If confirmed, she’ll become the first African American woman to sit on the Supreme Court.

“For too long, our government, our courts haven't looked like America,” said President Biden. 

She’s an appellate-court judge, a former public defender, and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

"If I'm fortunate enough to be confirmed as the next associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, I can only hope that my life and career, my love of this country and the Constitution and my commitment to upholding the rule of law and the sacred principles upon which this great nation was founded, will inspire future generations of Americans," said Ketanji Brown Jackson, Supreme Court Nominee.   

Hannah Brenner Johnson is a Professor of Law at California Western School of Law in San Diego. She co-wrote a book entitled, “Shortlisted: Women in the Shadows of the Supreme Court”. It chronicles the lives of nine women who have been shortlisted or considered for the Supreme Court since the 1930s.

“But there was, as you note, one woman of color. A judge who is still alive today, Amalya Kearse. She currently sits on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Senior status. She was actually considered by Presidents crossing political lines and partisan lines,” Brenner Johnson said. 

Brenner Johnson says the book also addresses the challenges that women face, especially women of color, as they make strides to reach the highest U.S. court.

RELATED: Who is Ketanji Brown Jackson? The Supreme Court nominee with Florida ties

“They’re scrutinized based on things that have nothing to do with their qualifications. They encounter incredible implicit bias. We all have bias, right? We all bring that to the table. But, women of color, in particular, are judged even more critically than White men,” said Brenner Johnson. 

Today three of the nine people sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court are women. If confirmed, Brown Jackson will replace Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

“Justice Breyer, in particular, not only gave me the greatest job that any young lawyer could ever hope to have, but he also exemplified every day in every way that a Supreme Court justice can perform at the highest level of skill and integrity, while also being guided by civility, Grace, pragmatism and generosity of spirit,” Brown Jackson said during the official announcement.

Brenner Johnson says the Senate will review Brown Jackson’s record thoroughly and she is scheduled to meet with senators next week.

RELATED: Biden announces Ketanji Brown Jackson as Supreme Court nominee

WATCH RELATED: Biden: First Black woman on Supreme Court will be 'long overdue' 

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