Bloomberg Law
Feb. 2, 2022, 4:53 PM

Biden Far From First to Consider Identity in Supreme Court Pick

Jordan S. Rubin
Jordan S. Rubin

Republicans have criticized President Joe Biden’s pledge to put a Black woman on the Supreme Court, but taking identity into account is nothing new when appointing justices.

Race, sex, religion, and other demographics have long been considered in high-court appointments.

Presidents have picked nominees with typical professional experience while also “focusing on a unique aspect about who they are,” said Renee Knake Jefferson, a University of Houston law professor and co-author of “Shortlisted: Women in the Shadows of the Supreme Court.”

“Demographic factors have always been part of the process,” said judicial-politics expert David Yalof, a University of ...

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