Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin reacts to Biden's Supreme Court nomination

President Joe Biden has nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court, fulfilling a campaign promise to nominate an African American woman to the high court.

In presenting his nominee, Biden said "for too long...our courts haven't looked like America."

Jackson has already been confirmed two times by the Senate for other judgeships, as recently as last year when she was confirmed to a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.

Jackson is 51-years-old, a Florida native, and a graduate of Harvard Law School. Twenty-two years ago, she clerked for Breyer — the justice she's now set to replace.


"She's an extraordinary person in terms of her life, her story, and her professional qualifications to serve on the court," said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. "She has published over 500 opinions as a judge, so her record is well-known and well-established."

That record is described as "liberal-leaning" and not everyone's thrilled with Biden's pick. South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham voiced his displeasure via Twitter, writing in part. "...the radical left has won President Biden over yet again."

But others describe Jackson as a consensus builder.

"She will be able to reach over and talk to people who are conservative — more conservative than she might be — as well as people who are liberal, more liberal than she might be, and bring the sides together," said CK Hoffler, Rainbow-Push Chairman and Former President of the National Bar Association. "There are untold millions of Black and brown girls and other girls, quite frankly, that when they see her on the US Supreme Court will have such a favorable reaction."

As for Judge Jackson's upcoming confirmation hearings, Durbin said the first hearing will likely happen in a matter of weeks. Hoffler said in this political environment — and with the Senate evenly divided — her confirmation is by no means a guarantee.