U.W. Clemon, the first Black federal judge appointed in the state of Alabama, forcefully spoke out against one of President Joe Biden's potential Supreme Court selections in a letter, The Hill reports.
Clemon, a former chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, urged the president not to consider Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the vacancy of the Supreme Court.
Judge U.W. Clemon questioned Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's commitment to workplace justice.
According to the retired judge, there are "several exceptionally well-qualified Black female aspirants for the Supreme Court" but he "strongly" believes Jackson should not be considered.
Backing up his argument, Clemon cited the Ross v. Lockheed, a class-action lawsuit that Jackson presided over on behalf of 5,500 Black Lockheed Martin employees. Clemon wrote that Jackson refused to approve the settlement that was agreed upon, which would have awarded $22 million to the workers (Clemon is listed as a counsel for the firm that argued the losing side of the Ross v. Lockheed case).
‘She refused to approve the settlement because in her view there were no common factual questions," Clemon wrote.
"Judge Jackson gave the axe to a settlement designed to benefit Black workers at one of the nation's largest employers, denied the injunctive relief agreed to by Lockheed Martin that would have addressed a root cause of systemic racial bias that could have been a model for a nation hungry for racial equity solutions; denied the black workers the right to seek evidence to prove their claim of company-wide racial discrimination, and knowingly frustrated the rights of Black workers to appeal her decision,” he continued.
Contrary to Clemon’s views, Jackson has been lauded by progressives for her previous rulings on labor matters and her background as a public defender.
After receiving Clemon’s letter, the White House came to Jackson’s defense in a statement.
"It’s because of Judge Jackson’s experience in roles at all levels of the justice system, her character, and her legal brilliance that President Biden nominated her to the D.C. Circuit Court, after which she earned her third Senate confirmation, and he’s very proud of that decision," Andrew Bates, the deputy press secretary said in the statement.
Last week, Biden noted that he was down to his final four nominees to replace Justice Stephen Breyer who's retiring and he plans to announce his pick by the end of February.