News of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement has prompted a flurry of names being circulated as possible replacements, with some progressives pushing for civil rights lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill, who has advocated for the “defund the police” movement in the past.
Since the news broke Wednesday morning that Breyer is retiring, progressive Democrats have been calling on President Biden to make good on his campaign promise to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court.
“.@POTUS you promised us a Black woman on the Supreme Court,” Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., tweeted, using the handle for President Biden’s account. “Let’s see it happen.”
According to some reports, Ifill, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, is among the names being circulated as a potential nominee.
“While there are many qualified contenders to fill the vacancy of this seat on the court, the candidacy of Ketanji Brown Jackson, Leondra Kruger, J. Michelle Childs, Wilhelmina ‘Mimi’ Wright, Eunice Lee, Candace Jackson-Akiwumi and Sherrilyn Ifill should all be weighed and considered,” tweeted Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.
As the George Floyd protests were sweeping the country in the summer of 2020, Ifill advocated for defunding the police during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
“It’s been interesting to see how this phrase ‘defund the police’ makes people very anxious and very nervous,” Ifill said at the time. “This is our opportunity to do something that’s long overdue, which is to fundamentally re-imagine what public safety looks like in this country.
“What we have done is we have turned over armed law enforcement officers the right to enter our communities to solve a set of community conflicts that actually don’t require an armed officer,” she continued. “Rather than turn the entire public safety regime over to armed law-enforcement officers, we need to look at that funding, reduce that funding, and use it to support these other services.
“I think the anxiety is about the phrase and actually not anxiety about the concept. We should be looking at budgets,” she added. “We should recognize that this over-reliance on police has given us a regime that we can see is not working.”
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