By: Jason Walsh II
On Thursday 4/7/22 the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson a seat in the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Jackson is the first black woman to have a seat on the Supreme Court. Jackson won the seat with a 53-47 vote from the Senate. All 50 Democrats voted in her favor along with 3 Republican votes.
Judge Jackson studied government at Harvard as an undergraduate, earning an A.B. before going on to graduate from Harvard’s Law School with a Juris Doctor. Jackson worked as an attorney throughout her professional career until she was nominated by President Barack Obama for Vice-Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission. Jackson remained there from 2010-2014 until President Obama would nominate her for Judge of the District Court of the District of Columbia where she served from 2014-2021. In 2021 President Biden would nominate her to become Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals where she served until now being confirmed a seat in the Supreme Court.
Before Judge Jackson found herself in the world of law, it found her. Jackson was born in Washington D.C. but grew up in Miami Florida. Jackson’s family surrounded her with figures of law as she grew up, her father was an attorney, her mother a school principal, and her uncle a police chief. As she got older, she knew she wanted to follow down the same path, by her senior
year of high school, she did not just have the goal of becoming an attorney, she was aiming for a judicial appointment.
Judge Jackson achieved her goals and stepped foot into uncharted territory. As the democratic side celebrated the republican side was not so enthusiastic about Jackson’s achievements. Republican and minority leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell left the floor followed by some Republican senators after the confirmation. Senator McConnell chose to oppose Jackson’s confirmation and urged his fellow Republicans to follow, saying his opposition is not based on her “race or gender” but on her record. McConnell believes that her record is “too slim” to sit on the supreme court. The Senator’s arguments convinced 47 republicans and no Democrats to vote no on the confirmation.
Finally, Judge Jackson’s dream has come full circle but not only for her. With Judge Jackson’s confirmation as the first Black woman to earn a seat in the Supreme Court, she begins to tear down a wall transforming her into a symbol. Judge Jackson is now a symbol not only to every little girl but to every African American girl or boy that they can go the distance and achieve the goals people say they can’t.
Image Credit: NBC News