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NBC’s Peter Alexander Botches Major Fact About Supreme Court, Former Justice Thurgood Marshall

Screen Shot from NBC News

Gretchen Clayson Contributor
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NBC’s Peter Alexander botched a major fact about the U.S. Supreme Court and former Justice Thurgood Marshall on Wednesday.

During a broadcast, Alexander said that President Joe Biden would be able to nominate the first African American justice to the Supreme Court, despite that honor belonging to Marshall. Alexander was reporting in light of an NBC News story on Justice Stephen Breyer, who’s set to retire at the end of the court’s current term.

“That is one of the headlines that we’ll be refocusing on over the course of the next several weeks, the president saying he would nominate the first African American justice to the Supreme Court,” Alexander told NBC anchor Lester Holt. He went on to say that for Biden, this moment was a “potential opportunity to really put some legacy, his legacy into the law as it relates to the court,” stating that it was likely Biden would choose a younger justice.

“Obviously the balance still 6-3 in favor of the conservatives,” Alexander said, before recalling that Justice Clarence Thomas, who is also African American, was the next oldest justice after Breyer at 73 years of age. (RELATED: Congress Demands Black History Smithsonian Include Clarence Thomas)

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Civil rights leader Thurgood Marshall was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1967 by former President Lyndon B. Johnson and served as the first African American on the bench until his retirement in 1991, according to his biography on the NAACP Legal Defense Fund site. (RELATED: Battle Lines Form During First Day Of Kavanaugh Hearings)

Holt clarified that Biden’s commitment was to “nominate an African American woman as a justice in the Supreme Court.”