Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, will bring fresh perspectives to the job if she is confirmed. She may serve for decades. But there is little reason to think she can do much to alter the court’s conservative trajectory in the short term.
Her replacement of Justice Stephen G. Breyer would substitute a liberal for a liberal and would do nothing to shift the basic dynamic of the current court, which is dominated by six Republican appointees. If anything, in an institution that prizes seniority, the court’s three-member liberal wing is apt to lose power.
New justices often take years to find their footing. “I was frightened to death for the first three years,” Justice Breyer, who joined the court in 1994, said in a 2006 interview. [Continue reading…]