26 Feb Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Makes History
Senate confirms Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, to the United States Supreme Court. The confirmation set Twitter, the blogosphere and major news networks ablaze. Unerased has collected some of our favorite reactions below.
By David Remnick
After winning the support of three Republicans in the Senate this week, Ketanji Brown Jackson made history by becoming the first Black woman to be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. But the confirmation hearings along the way featured political grandstanding of the most blatant—even racist—kind.
Anita Hill, who is a professor at Brandeis University and endured her own degrading experience as a witness during the confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas, in 1991, spoke with me on The New Yorker Radio Hour this week about the meaning of Jackson’s ascent and the reaction from Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Jane Mayer, a staff writer for The New Yorker and the co-author, with Jill Abramson, of “Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas,” also joined the discussion, which has been edited for length and clarity.
By A’Shanti Gholar
February 25, 2022 began like most days, quiet and mundane. But as I headed to the dentist that Friday morning, my phone started chiming nonstop with text alerts: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson had become the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court. Like many Black women across the country, I’d been waiting with anticipation for President Biden to name his pick to fill the vacancy Justice Breyer had left on the Court. Fast-forward to today, as the Senate Judiciary Committee begins its confirmation hearings for Jackson.
Our nation’s highest court has never benefited from the perspective of a Black woman and this wasn’t set to change until recently. In the 232 years since the Supreme Court first convened in 1790, 115 justices have served on the bench. Of those, two have been Black men, four have been white women, and one, a Latina woman of color. That’s 108 white men. Having worked as a political strategist and activist for more than 15 years, I applaud Biden’s efforts to diversify the courts and celebrate Jackson’s historic nomination. But I’m also hyperaware that we still have a long way to go in terms of representation in our government. Honestly, a “long way to go” is even a bit of an understatement. Read the full article.
Soon, Ketanji Brown Jackson will be confirmed as America’s first Black woman Supreme Court Justice. And given the support of the Democratic Party, Republicans cannot stop her ascension. But that hasn’t stopped conservative White senators from throwing a series of baseless critiques against the wall to see what could stick.
The American Bar Association called Jackson “well qualified,” giving her their highest ranking, based on her “qualities of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament.” Yet, conservatives tried to portray Jackson as “soft on crime,” criticizing her work as a federal public defender and accusing her of using Critical Race Theory in sentencing decisions. Read the full article.
We are opening on the third day of nomination hearings to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, and among the random issues raised by lawmakers over the past two days, the complaints about the DC Circuit Court of Appeals nomination of Janice Rogers Brown are worth a deeper dive.
Several Republicans have drawn comparisons between Judge Jackson’s nomination and the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown, a controversial conservative Black woman judge from California who was vehemently opposed by many Democrats, including then-Senator Joe Biden, when she was nominated by President George W. Bush to the DC Circuit in 2003. Republicans, knowing that they will be roundly criticized if they oppose Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic nomination, apparently believe they can deflect that criticism by pointing to a different Black woman that they believe was treated unfairly because of her conservative leanings. Read the full article.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s nominee to fill an upcoming Supreme Court vacancy, faces four days of Senate hearings starting Monday that are sure to include questions about her career.
In some ways, Jackson, 51, followed a similar trajectory as the court’s nine justices on her way to becoming Biden’s nominee: Harvard Law, Supreme Court clerk, federal appeals judge. Jackson is the first Black woman to be nominated to the nation’s highest court in its 233-year history and in other ways she would bring less-common experiences, namely having served as a district court judge and public defender. Read the full article.
On April 7, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court by 53-47 margin, with three Republicans joining all Democrats.
On February 25, President Joe Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson, attorney and jurist serving as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to the Supreme Court.
Confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson (Day 1).
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson delivers remarks on her historic nomination.
Nkechi Taifa reflects on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination.