Feb 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

First look: Harvard wave for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

Mike Allen
In a 1996 photo (from left), Antoinette Coakley, Nina Coleman, Lisa Fairfax and Ketanji Brown Jackson.
In a 1996 photo (from left), Antoinette Coakley, Nina Coleman, Lisa Fairfax and Ketanji Brown Jackson. Photo: Lisa Fairfax

A group of about 175 Black alumni of Harvard today will deliver a letter to the White House supporting Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who sits on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and is one of President Biden's top prospects for the Supreme Court.

What they're saying: "We come from the South, North, East, and West. We are civic and corporate leaders, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, public school teachers, professors, doctors, lawyers, and stay-at-home parents, among others," the letter says.

Judge Jackson knows how to build community and consensus. ... Judge Jackson would listen to diverse perspectives and assemble coalitions to accomplish objectives. Judge Jackson achieved a level of personal excellence in school that was legendary, but she also paid it forward by helping others, such as when she taught high school students to perform with poise and confidence in public speaking competitions.

State of play: President Biden told NBC's Lester Holt on Thursday, in an interview airing in part during the Super Bowl pregame show on Sunday, that he has "taken about four people and done the deep dive."

  • "I think whomever I pick will get a vote from [the] Republican side," Biden said. "I'm not looking to make an ideological choice here."
  • "I'm looking for someone to replace Judge Breyer with the same kind of capacity Judge Breyer had — with an open mind, who understands the Constitution, interprets it in a way that is consistent with the mainstream interpretation of the Constitution."
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