Joe Biden's historic move to appoint U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate was not only a significant moment for his presidency but also the beginning of a more diverse set of leaders occupying some of the most powerful offices in government. 

The former vice president had long said he would be appointing a woman to the second-highest office in the country. In Feb. 2020, Biden also pledged to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court should he be given the chance to do so, according to The Associated Press. Though the highest court in the land has seen its fair share of minority representation in its 231-year history, none to the extent of a Black woman as an associate or chief justice.

In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor became the Court's first Hispanic and Latina justice when President Barack Obama appointed her. Her appointment was significant for progressives in addition to being a symbolic victory for Latinx communities. 

All eyes will be on Biden to ensure he makes good on his offer to also heighten minority representation on the Court. Just like the more than 100 Black men who urged him to select a Black woman as vice president, the same energy should be maintained when it comes to the possibility of the 77-year-old selecting an associate justice. 

In recent decades, the typical credential for a Supreme Court appointee has been prior service on one of the country's twelve regional federal courts of appeals. There are many qualified and capable Black women who fit that mold.

So we compiled a list of nine Black women from across the country with the credentials to make Biden's shortlist for the Supreme Court. Though all qualified in their own regard, they were arranged from most to least likely based on their previous history of being considered for the role.

1. Leondra Kruger

Education: Harvard, B.A.; Yale, J.D.

Current position: Associate Justice for the Supreme Court of California 

Appointed by: Former California Governor Jerry Brown (2015)

Kruger is viewed as a rising star among progressive legal thinkers. She has credentials that are typical of many elite lawyers, including her services in the Solicitor General’s office.

2. Ketanji Brown Jackson

Education: Harvard, B.A., J.D.

Current position: U.S. District Judge for the District of the District of Columbia

Appointed by: Former President Barack Obama

Jackson was reportedly one of the finalists for the late Antonin Scalia’s U.S. Supreme Court seat in 2016. Like Kruger, she is also young, a former Supreme Court law clerk and has the benefit of presiding over several high-profile federal cases, like the House Judiciary’s lawsuit against former White House Counsel Don McGahn.

Both Kruger and Jackson are considered Biden's most likely picks according to Bloomberg. 

3. Tanya Chutkan

Education: George Washington University, B.A.; University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D.

Current position: U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia

Appointed by: Former President Barack Obama

In July, Chutkan made headlines when she blocked Donald Trump’s administration from reinstating the federal death penalty. This made waves in progressive circles and showed her longstanding commitment to criminal justice causes.

4. Stacey Abrams

Education: Spelman College, B.A.; University of Texas at Austin, MPA; Yale University, J.D.

Current position: American politician and activist

Stacey Abrams' celebrity rose after she became the Democratic party's nominee in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race, becoming the first Black woman from a major-party to run for governor in the country. Although she lost, the 46-year-old has since become a tireless activist for voter suppression and a familiar face for the Democratic party at the national level.

5. Leslie Abrams Gardner

Education: Brown University, B.A., Yale University, J.D. 

Current position: U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia

Appointed by: Former President Barack Obama

The younger sister of Stacey Abrams, Leslie Abrams Gardner sat by designation on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and invalidated an Alabama abortion statute. Though she may be lesser known than her older sibling, she has equally stellar credentials and a more conventional judicial resume. 

6. Cleo Powell

Education: University of Virginia B.A., J.D.

Current position: Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia

Appointed by: Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)

In 2011, Cleo Powell became the first Black woman to serve on Virginia's highest court. Perhaps Justice Powell’s most recognizable case during her time on the Supreme Court of Virginia was the 4-3 decision that struck down Governor Terry McAuliffe’s executive order restoring voting rights to 206,000 felons. Justice Powell and S. Bernard Goodwyn, the other Black judge on the court, were among the dissenters, with Powell authoring the dissent.

7. Arenda Wright Allen

Education: Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, B.A., North Carolina Central University School of Law, J.D.

Current position: United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia

Appointed by: Former President Barack Obama

An Obama appointee, on February 14, 2014, Judge Wright Allen reversed Virginia's sanctioned same-sex marriage ban, finding the forbiddance unconstitutional. In her opinion, the Philadelphia native wrote that "relationships are created through the exercise of sacred, personal choices — choices, like the choices made by every other citizen, that must be free from unwarranted government interference."

8. Leah Ward Sears

Education: Cornell University, B.A., Emory University, J.D., University of Virginia, LL.M

Highest position: Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia

Appointed by: Former Georgia Governor Zell Miller

At 65 years old, Leah Ward Sears can boast a number of accomplishments throughout her legal career. As former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. Sears became the first Black female chief justice of a state supreme court in the U.S. when she was appointed to the role by Governor Zell Jones in 2005. Now a partner in the Litigation Section of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, Sears' time as a federal jurist might have ended when her term as Chief Justice ended in 2009.

9. Adrienne Nelson

Education: University of Arkansas, B.A.; University of Texas School of Law, J.D.

Current position: Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court

Appointed by: Oregon Governor Kate Brown

Kansas City native Adrienne Nelson currently serves as an associate justice on the Oregon Supreme Court. The second Black female jurist in the state’s history, her dedication to being a legal expert and role model for Black lawyers in the nation would make her a fitting candidate for an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Hopefully, we can look forward to what the future of SCOTUS holds.