As Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed to the Supreme Court, we recognize and celebrate the deep significance of her appointment, both as a long-overdue cultural milestone as the first black woman appointed to the court and as a harbinger of hope and change. We agree wholeheartedly with Senator Schumer who said “Even in the darkest times, there are bright lights. Today is one of the brightest lights. Let us hope it’s a metaphor, an indication of many bright lights to come.”
A graduate of Harvard college and law school where she served as editor of the Harvard Law Review, Ketanji Jackson began her legal career in clerkships including one for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer. She later pursued work in the federal public defender’s office because, as she has said, she wanted to understand how the justice system works – or fails to work. In her responses during the hearings, she wrote that her work for the federal public defender was a way to “help people in need and to promote core constitutional values.” Ketanji Jackson will now sit on the highest court in the nation hearing cases arising under the United States Constitution as she fills the vacant seat of Justice Breyer who will retire this year at the end of the term.
Upon Judge Jackson’s appointment President Biden tweeted “historic moment for our courts and for our country”. We celebrate Ketanji Jackson’s appointment because she believes, like we do, that all of our citizens deserve equal justice, and that working within the system is one way to create that change. We celebrate her appointment because she will be a tremendous asset as a justice, and because now the highest seat of justice in our country is that much closer to representing our country itself.