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'Remarkably Well Qualified': Wilhelmina Wright Makes Short List For SCOTUS Pick

ST. PAUL (WCCO) – As President Joe Biden prepares to announce his pick to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, a local name is generating attention as a possible candidate.

Judge Wilhelmina Wright, who currently serves as a federal judge on the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, is someone who experts say could quite possibly be the President's pick.

Biden, who promised during his campaign he would choose a Black woman as the next justice, has yet to officially name a candidate.

"As the speculation has emerged, [Wright's] name repeatedly keeps popping up as somebody who would be a possibility," Professor David Schultz said, who works as a professor at both Hamline University and the University of Minnesota in Political Science and Law. "For her as a personal story, of course this is a major story. The fact that she basically works her way up through Minnesota Court to the Federal Court, to the Supreme Court."

Born in Virginia, Wright attended Yale for her undergraduate degree before graduating law school from Harvard. Since, she has served as an Assistant US Attorney, a Ramsey County Judge and on the Minnesota Appeals Court before being named to the Minnesota Supreme Court. In 2015, President Obama named her a federal justice – a position she's held since the following year.

"Symbolically, I think this would be very important," Schultz said. "Biden recognizes, as many people do, that she would be the first Black female on the Supreme Court and would bring a set of life experiences and perspectives that would be relatively unique to the bench."

Other popular names for the pick include Kentanji Brown Jackson, who currently serves as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington DC. Schultz says regardless of who gets the pick, Biden and Washington Democrats will attempt to move quickly in order to get a justice in place prior to the 2022 midterm elections.


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