U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs has emerged as a possible pick for a nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court following Justice Stephen Breyer’s announcement that he plans to retire from his post on the nation’s highest court.
Childs currently serves as a judge in the District of South Carolina. If she’s nominated and confirmed to serve on the Supreme Court, she will be the third Black justice and the sixth woman to serve on the court in its history.
Here are five things to know about Childs:
Childs was born in Detroit
Childs earned a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of South Florida in 1988 and got a master’s degree in personnel and employment relations from the University of South Carolina School of Business in 1991. She earned her Juris Doctor that same year from the University of South Carolina School of Law. In 2016, she earned a Master of Laws in judicial studies from the Duke University School of Law.
Childs has served as district court judge since 2010
President Barack Obama nominated Childs to serve in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina in late 2009, saying that she “displayed exceptional integrity and an unwavering commitment to justice.” Before her nomination and subsequent confirmation, Childs spent four years as a state trial court judge on the South Carolina Circuit Court. She has also served as a commissioner on the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission and as deputy director for the Division of Labor at the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
From 1992 to 2000, Childs was an associate and then a partner at the Nexsen Pruet, LLC, law firm in Columbia, South Carolina.
Childs has at least one prominent lawmaker pushing for her nomination
The highest-ranking African American in Congress, Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., last year threw his support behind Childs as a possible nominee to the Supreme Court, pointing to her blue-collar roots, according to The New York Times.
“One of the things we have to be very, very careful of as Democrats is being painted with that elitist brush,” Clyburn told the newspaper. “When people talk to diversity, they are always looking at race and ethnicity — I look beyond that to diversity of experience.”
Biden has nominated Childs to serve on another influential federal court
Last month, President Joe Biden nominated Childs to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, calling her “extraordinarily qualified, experienced and devoted to the rule of law and our Constitution.” The decision was a surprise to area lawyers, who had expected Biden to choose someone with local ties, The Washington Post reported. The high-profile court has often been seen as a feeder to the Supreme Court, according to CNBC.
Childs has one daughter
In August 2000, Childs married Floyd Angus, a doctor with a practice in Sumter, South Carolina, according to The Greenville News. The couple has one daughter, the newspaper reported.
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