Judge J. Michelle Childs is confirmed at the DC Circuit Court

Justice J. Michelle Childs, who was on the shortlist to replace former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday to serve on the prestigious federal appeals court in Washington, DC. She will be one of two women of color on the field, which is generally considered the second highest in the nation.

The Senate voted 64 to 34 to confirm Childs, with 15 Republicans backing her. Only one other Biden nominee for a federal appeals court has received that many votes from GOP members.

“With more than 15 years of experience on the bench, Judge Childs is exceptionally qualified to serve on the DC Circuit. origin,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin said in a statement.

The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has produced more Supreme Court justices than any other federal court. Four of the current nine judges have served there before. The DC circuit tends to deal with sensitive and high-profile issues related to national security, election law, and federal agencies. This has included cases regarding the breach of the Capitol on January 6 in 2021.

Childs becomes the only black woman in the field, which has 11 active seats and two remaining vacancies for President Joe Biden. One of those posts was previously held by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who officially joined the Supreme Court on June 30.

Childs came to national attention earlier this year as one of Biden’s favorites to replace Breyer, who in January announced his intention to step down from the High Court. At the time, Childs, 56, had served as a U.S. District Court judge in South Carolina for 12 years. She also served as a South Carolina state judge from 2006 to 2010.

As a Supreme Court nominee, Childs’ underrepresented background as a public university graduate has drawn those clamoring for a greater diversity of experience among justices. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and her law degree from the University of South Carolina. She has also worked at one of South Carolina’s largest law firms, Nexsen Pruet, and for state government, the South Carolina Department of Labor, and as a commissioner with the Commission of Labor. south carolina workers compensation.

During Biden’s search for potential candidates to replace Justice Breyer, Childs enjoyed strong support from two prominent politicians in his home state: House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, the Democrat whose support helped Biden win his first primary victory, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

In the end, Biden chose Jackson, who also served on the DC circuit court for eight months before his Supreme Court nomination. While Childs’ new DC Circuit Court position and bipartisan appeal put her in a prime position for future Supreme Court consideration, it’s unclear whether another Supreme Court vacancy will arise. will open during Biden’s presidency or whether he will seek to close other diversity gaps after fulfilling his campaign promise to appoint the first black woman to court.

No Asian, Indigenous, or extra-LGBTQ+ person has ever served on the nation’s highest court. The DC Circuit Court, where many administrations would seek potential nominees, includes an Indian-American woman, Judge Neomi Rao, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump. Biden also named Judge Florence Pan, a Taiwanese-American woman, to replace Jackson on the DC Circuit Court. His nomination is still pending through the Senate Judiciary Committee.

During his tenure, Biden has selected federal court candidates with racial and professional diversity. He named 16 black women, or 22% of all black women to ever serve as federal judges in the country, according to data from the Federal Judicial Center. It also appointed 38% of all Asian female federal judges in the country’s history and 19% of all Latina women to serve as federal judges. The Federal Judicial Center database does not include sexual orientation or gender identity beyond male and female.

About Michael Murphy

Check Also

Law firm Latham lands another big IPO in Saudi Arabia

Latham & Watkins, alongside its partnership firm, The Law Firm of Salman M. Al-Sudairi, and …