Sherrilyn Ifill floated as a potential Supreme Court pick

Sherrilyn Ifill, cousin of renowned Simmons alum Gwen Ifill, is among the names of possible candidates to fill Justice Breyer’s seat.


Sherrilyn Ifill.

Katie Cole, Editor-in-Chief

Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement gives President Joe Biden a chance to fulfill his campaign promise of nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court. 

Among the names floated to fill his seat is Sherrilyn Ifill, the president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and cousin of the late Gwen Ifill.

Ifill is not a judge but is a well-respected civil rights lawyer who has headed the NAACP Legal Defense Fund since 2013. The Legal Defense Fund was founded by the first Black Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall.

Sherrilyn Ifill was a panelist for the 2020 Gwen Ifill Forum at Simmons, during which she spoke about her cousin’s legacy and COVID-19’s impact on the Black community.

“All throughout this country, people are living on the edge, Black people especially. And they’re right to be afraid because our government has essentially walked away,” Sherrilyn Ifill said during the forum.

Michele Norris, who moderated the 2020 Ifill Forum panel discussion, tweeted out a picture of Sherrilyn Ifill’s high school yearbook where a 17-year-old Sherrilyn Ifill listed her career goal as ‘Supreme Court Justice.’

Norris called the yearbook photo “a testament to dreams and speaking them into existence.”

Ifill’s potential nomination sparked support from some, including the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board, who published an opinion piece throwing their support behind Ifill.

“We urge President Biden to fill his promise to nominate someone of ‘extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity’ by submitting her name,” wrote the Editorial Board.

Other candidates Biden is weighing for the seat include U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs, Federal Appeals Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, according to CBS News

Biden said he will announce his Supreme Court nominee by the end of February.