First Female African American Supreme Court Justice


Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson could be the first female African American Supreme Court Justice.

Sophie Stringer, Staff Reporter

On February 25, President Joe Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the first female African American Supreme Court Justice, if approved by the senate during the hearing in Washington D.C. beginning on March 25. The search for the best nominee for Supreme Court Justice began after Biden’s campaign for president, when he promised voters to place a woman of African descent on the Supreme Court. Now, after Justice Stephen Breyer’s announcement of retirement, this promise is being carried out.

Judge Jackson’s credentials are vast, with her undergraduate and graduate school taking place at Harvard, being a clerk for the Supreme Court, a public defender, Vice Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District Court of Columbia, and Judge on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has a broad understanding of how the law can affect people from her family’s background with the law, her own father being an attorney. Mrs. Weaver, social studies teacher at Hidden Valley High School comments, “I think the main quality is that they show overwhelming empathy and can put themselves into the positions of others.” Biden believes that because of her extensive background in law, she has the ability to do this.

According to The White House, President Joe Biden’s process for deciding who to nominate was vigorous and thorough. He requested the opinions of the Senate and legal experts alike. Eventually, he compiled a large list of exceptional African-American women with diverse backgrounds. He believes that Judge Jackson possesses the most important qualities of a Supreme Court Justice, including humility, fairness, and a deep understanding of the law and the Constitution. Mrs. Sprenger, Government teacher at Hidden Valley High School comments on Joe Biden’s reasoning behind his decision, saying, “It’s not that every nationality has to have a representative, because after all, there are only nine people on the court. There has to be the perception that all of us could be selected based on merit.”

Despite Judge Jackson’s vast knowledge and experience in law, many have concerns regarding her potential appointment. Some worry that she has to much bias towards the left to be fair. Others argue that while she is progressive, she does not let it get in the way of her decisions, but rather places herself in others’ situations to best resolve her cases. The common consensus of her supporters: Her credentials speak for themselves. While the worries that she does not represent part of the population are popular in the right wing, people who sway left contradict that other Justices will listen to the cases with her, so her beliefs will always be balanced by the other Justices.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s place in the Supreme Court will be determined soon. For now, Senators are deciding if they think that she will embody a fair, empathetic, and just Justice.