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President Biden has named his 12th round of judicial nominees, including up-and-coming federal judge Michelle Childs, who was nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Childs, a Black woman, is a legal figure many Democrats consider a strong future candidate for the Supreme Court.
The D.C. Circuit is a known stepping stone to the high court, with Justices John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia having served on the court in the nation’s capital. In addition, Biden promised on the campaign trail that he would name a Black woman to the Supreme Court, and his nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to the D.C. Circuit earlier this year.
“These choices also continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds,” said the White House on Thursday.
Biden emphasized the diversity of his picks, offering racial and gender statistics to justify his selections.
“These are the President’s final judicial nominations for 2021, a year during which 40 circuit and district court judges were confirmed – the most since Ronald Reagan was President,” the White House press release said. “And 80% of those confirmed judges are women, with 53% being people of color.”
There is no vacancy on the Supreme Court, but it is widely speculated that Justice Stephen Breyer will retire during Biden’s current term, potentially after the current Supreme Court session that ends in late spring. Further, Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor and Chief Justice John Roberts are all over 65 years old.
“I’m pleased [Biden] has chosen to nominate Judge J. Michelle Childs to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit,” wrote Rep. James Clyburn after the news of the nomination was released Thursday. “She’s served with distinction on the U.S. District Court in SC, and I believe her background and experiences make her well suited for this position.”
Clyburn, the highest-ranking black member of Congress, has previously championed Childs for elevation to higher court positions.
Childs was nominated to her current seat by former President Obama in late 2009 and confirmed in 2010. She went to the University of South Florida for her undergraduate degree and received her law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.
She then worked in private practice for eight years before holding various positions in the South Carolina government. She started her career as a state judge in South Carolina in 2006.
Fox News’ Bill Mears and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.