Justice Ketanji Jackson Becomes Member of Supreme Court

Josh Click, Photo Editor

   With former Justice Stephen Breyer announcing retirement earlier in the year, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed as the first female African-American Justice of the Supreme Court on April 7, 2022 53-47 mostly along party lines, but with three Republican votes.

   According to the official White House website, “Since Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement, President Biden has conducted a rigorous process to identify his replacement. President Biden sought a candidate with exceptional credentials, unimpeachable character, and unwavering dedication to the rule of law. The President sought an individual who is committed to equal justice under the law and who understands the profound impact that the Supreme Court’s decisions have on the lives of the American people” (whitehouse.gov).

   Reporter Alex Rodgers from CNN said, “The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on party lines barring any unforeseen circumstances, but there are ways in which, the panel or the Senate Democrats in power can still put her nomination to a confirmation vote in the days to come. If confirmed, Jackson will be the first Black woman to be a Supreme Court justice. Senate Republican and Democratic leaders agree that Jackson is a well-qualified nominee, but almost all GOP senators are expected to oppose her” (cnn.com).

  Rodgers said, “Jackson, [age] 51, sits on DC’s federal appellate court and had been considered the front-runner for the vacancy since Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement. Jackson previously worked as a clerk for Breyer, a federal public defender, an attorney in private practice, a federal district court judge, and a member of the US Sentencing Commission” (cnn.com).

   Junior Gemma Weinfeld said, “The Supreme Court  really highlights the important discussion we need to have as a nation about the lack of Black judges in our federal courts, especially Black women. As our courts are beginning to reflect the diversity of our nation, albeit it’s just the beginning, I can only hope that in the future, we will provide equal and just trials for all Americans.”

   Reporter Vivian Ho from The Guardian said, “While the White House and Democrats are talking about how historic this moment is, Republicans are misrepresenting her sentencing record and accusing Democrats of playing games.” The article continued that Republicans claim that Janice Rogers Brown, a Black former conservative federals appeals judge, who Democrats opposed, could have been the first Black woman on the supreme court” (theguardian.com).

  A reporter from the National Public Radio (NPR) said, “Jackson’s confirmation does not change the court’s ideological balance, a 6-3 conservative majority, though. Jackson will join the court in the summer when Justice Stephen Breyer retires. Voters broadly support Jackson’s confirmation. A poll from Marquette University Law School after her confirmation hearings showed that 66 percent of adults said they support her nomination, while 34 percent don’t” (npr.org).

   Senior Anton Gillespie said, “Well, I think it’s great we’re finally seeing more diversity in the Supreme Court and I’m excited to see how Justice Jackson will handle the future Supreme Court hearings. Frankly, I believe her nomination is way overdue, but I guess that’s just how the cookie crumbles.”

   Senior Lucas Wiese Ibarra said, “I think it’s wonderful, historic and also especially exciting to have someone who has a history as a public defender bringing a different perspective to the Supreme Court.”