Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, overcame racial and gender barriers to be confirmed as the first black female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
The US Senate voted on April 7 to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. The 51-year-old female judge has endured a turbulent six-month approval process, with a slim vote of 53 in favor and 47 against.
Mrs. Jackson, who comes from a family where both parents were teachers, will become the first woman of color to appear on the list of nine U.S. Supreme Court justices, removing one of the racial barriers, the largest remaining ethnic group in the U.S. government group.
Before Jackson’s confirmation, the U.S. Supreme Court had only two African-American justices in its 233-year history, and both were men. She will succeed Justice Stephen G. Breyer when her term ends at the end of June.
The controversy arose in February, shortly after President Joe Biden introduced her as a standout candidate who “will help write the next chapter in the history of America’s journey.”
Two days of hearings last month heightened tensions when Republicans sought to challenge President Biden’s nomination, portraying Jackson as an overly weak leftist radical justice who fought against terrorism and crime.
However, in a voting session chaired by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, three Republican senators backed the nomination, helping Ms. Jackson gain the Senate majority needed to be confirmed as a Supreme Court nominee. Democrats burst into applause as the final tally was announced.
Jackson was born in Washington, D.C. in 1970 and grew up in Miami, Florida. Her father was a teacher who became a lawyer on the school board, and her mother served as the principal. Jackson has shared that she started thinking about a legal career when her father returned to study law when she was young.
“We lived on the University of Miami campus. My dad was always sitting there with all his big, thick law books in his hand. I brought my coloring book and sat next to me and watched him study, Pretend I’m working too,” she said in a video shared by President Biden on Twitter.
In high school, she often participated in speech contests and debates. “Year after year, Jackson was elected class president by his classmates,” one of her former classmates said recently.
A career counselor at Jackson High School advised her not to set her “ambition too high” because she said she wanted to pursue her dream of getting into Harvard. But she persevered, graduating cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1996 and serving as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review.
After college, Jackson became a clerk to Justice Stephen Breyer, who would succeed him on the Supreme Court when he retired. “Judge Breyer was a great boss and mentor,” Jackson said in a video shared by President Biden.
“As a clerk, it is your responsibility to help a judge or court draft their opinions and ensure they are carefully outlined in the statute. This was a great opportunity for me to understand how the judicial system works. The law operates at the highest level” Jackson said.
Jackson has also worked in the private law firm and appellate division of the Office of the Federal Public Counsel for the District of Columbia.
Jackson emphasized at last year’s Senate hearing that her time as a public defender was her opportunity to “help those in need and advance core constitutional values.”
Jackson also served as assistant special counsel and then vice chairman of the U.S. Sentencing Policy Council, which promotes transparency in court decisions.
During his tenure on the committee, “Judge Jackson proposed amendments to many of the federal court’s sentencing policies” and “expressed a consistent concern for fair treatment of convicted individuals.” Crime, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People The Association for the Advancement of Justice) Legal Advocacy and Education Fund said in a report on her.
Former US President Barack Obama nominated Jackson to the District of Columbia court in 2012 and was confirmed the following year. In 2021, Jackson was confirmed as a judge on the Washington Court of Appeals after President Biden nominated him.
According to the Justice League (AFJ), a progressive justice advocacy group, Jackson drafted nearly 600 opinions while serving as a judge on the District of Columbia and Washington appeals courts. Her opinion has only been rejected or overturned 14 times.
Jackson also said she wants to be an inspiration for those who want to pursue a career in law. “My whole life I have admired lawyers and judges of all backgrounds, especially African-Americans like me, who worked so hard to get where they are now,” she said in a video shared online.
“I was inspired by Judge Constance Baker Motley, the first woman of color to be appointed to the Federal Court. She has been an inspiration to me and my career Significant. Hope to be an inspiration for other young people who want to go to justice,” Jackson said.
After a difficult and contentious review process, the U.S. Senate approved Justice Jackson to the Supreme Court in what was said to be a victory for President Biden.
The Supreme Court is likely to shape key elements of American life for years to come, including rulings on abortion rights, gun rights and religious freedom. The court is facing calls for structural and operational changes as progressives look to increase the number of judges or limit their terms. U.S. Supreme Court justices currently serve for life unless they are impeached and removed by Congress, or voluntarily retire.
After Judge Jackson’s confirmation was announced, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin called it “a seminal achievement for America.”
Lisa Murkowski, one of the three Republican senators who voted yes, said she supported Jackson not only because of the judge’s personal qualifications, but also against “the process of approving Supreme Court nominations.” In the United States.
Takeo (according to Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Time)