Read a PDF of our statement here.

Today, President Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court to fill the upcoming vacancy due to the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer, announcing the first nomination of a Black woman to the Supreme Court in its 232-year history.

In response, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill issued the following statement:

“We commend President Biden for honoring his pledge to nominate a Black woman as the next Associate Justice to the United States Supreme Court, and we congratulate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on her historic nomination — a long-overdue moment for our nation. Diversity on our nation’s highest court sends a powerful message to the country that our justice system is informed by a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, which is critical to ensuring the legitimacy of the Court in a multicultural nation.

“Judge Jackson’s stellar credentials and legal career would bring much-needed diversity of professional background to the Court. She currently sits as a circuit judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, one of the most esteemed appellate circuits in our nation. Previously in her career, she has served as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer (whose departure made this nomination possible), as a public defender in Washington, D.C., as a commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and as a judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

“As we have done for numerous Supreme Court nominees for more than 30 years, LDF will prepare a report summarizing the civil rights record of Judge Jackson, after a close review of her judicial decisions, legal work, writings, and other professional service.

“We now call on the United States Senate, as it fulfills its constitutional duty to provide its advice and consent on judicial nominations, to ensure that Judge Jackson receives a prompt, full, and fair hearing.”


Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.

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