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Pasadena Poly Grad is a Possible Supreme Court Nominee

Published on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 | 3:57 pm
 

A graduate of Pasadena Polytechnic School is among three judges that watchers say could be a President Joe Biden’s supreme court nominee to replace Justice Stephen Breyer who plans to retire.

Justice Leondra R. Kruger currently sits on the California Supreme Court.

Kruger graduated from Poly in 1993. In 2020 she received the 2020 Distinguished Alumna of the Year award, but was unable to visit the campus due to the pandemic.

She served in the United States Department of Justice as a deputy assistant attorney general for the officer legal consent.

From 2007 to 2013, she served in the Department as an Assistant to the Solicitor General and as Acting Deputy Solicitor General. During her tenure in the Office of the Solicitor General, she argued 12 cases in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the federal government. In 2013 and in 2014, she received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the Department’s highest award for employee performance.

At 45, Kruger would be not only the first Black woman on the court, but also the youngest justice, and the youngest justice confirmed since Clarence Thomas joined the court at age 43 in 1991.

Kruger would also bring substantial experience to the high court, with 12 Supreme Court arguments under her belt, as well as a seven-year record on the California Supreme Court that resembles the record of the justice she would replace.

According to several reports early discussions also include U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs.

Biden will appoint a nominee to replace Justice Breyer, who on Wednesday announced his plans to retire.

During the campaign, Biden pledged to nominate the first Black woman to the high court. Kruger is Black.

“I’m looking forward to making sure there’s a Black woman on the Supreme Court, to make sure we, in fact, get every representation,” he said days before the South Carolina primary.

The primary handed Biden a dominant victory that revived his campaign.

Since he took office, Biden has nominated a diverse group of judges to the bench, including five Black women.

Breyer is a centrist Democrat. Nine justices serve on the court, which currently has a 6-3 conservative majority.

In his only term, Republican President Donald Trump appointed three judges.

Black women voted overwhelmingly for the Biden-Harris ticket and have been credited with putting the ticket over the top.

National exit polls show more than 90% of Black women voted for the Biden-Harris ticket.

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