“Will She Persevere?”

Tonya V. Hall, Student Writer

Ketanji Brown Jackson to become first Black woman nominated to Supreme CourtHere we are on the fourth day of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing. I keep asking myself different questions such as, is it racism or is it just plain old gender bias that is going on, and would the senate object Sandra Day O’Connor or our beloved late Ruth Bader-Ginsburg to this line of questioning? After watching the different senators and the manner in which they address Judge Jackson Brown you can clearly see some are afraid of the power that she would have; that allowing a black woman to make judgments in the highest court of the land might damage future social, racial and political endeavors.

This past decade has given so many firsts to Black women. Miss America, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss Universe were all black women in 2019, a feat that had never been accomplished in a world where the Eurocentric beauty standard is the most embraced. Here we are adding to a list of accomplishments as a nation with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic confirmation making her the first African American woman to have a seat on the United States Supreme Court, in a country where her nation’s forefathers once looked at her ancestors as less than and not of equal intelligence or humanity. This is one for the history books, despite some of his criticisms, the 46th President Joe Biden has played an important role in lifting qualified black women and women of color into prominent government roles through his choice of Kamala Harris as his Vice President and his monumental nomination of Judge Brown Jackson, amongst many others.

Despite opposition Biden may have faced when nominating Kentanji Brown Jackson, she is well qualified with an impressively long list of accomplishments and accolades. Judge Brown Jackson is a Harvard law graduate and holds a Juris Doctorate Degree. She has been a law clerk for several judges such as for the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and for The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). She has even worked as a federal public offender.  Also, she has been nominated by two sitting presidents to be the judge of The United States District Courts and the US Court of Appeals.  Her attributes go on. All of these things should speak volumes for the lengths she is willing to go for our nation and our world-renowned justice system.

If she can make it through the cross-examination of Senators such as Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Lindsey Graham’s (R-South Carolina) constant attempts to suggest that she is soft on crime or that her religious views might interfere with her ability to judge unbiasedly; then she can perform this difficult job with eloquence and grace like the women and men who have sat on the bench before her.  After watching Judge Brown enduring days of her confirmation hearing I have grown even more impressed with her. Young Americans’ opinions of her seem to align with Senators Mazie Keiko Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Cory Booker’s (D-New Jersey) which undoubtedly has taken this Senate Judiciary Committee time to ensure the nominee that she has friends amongst the Democratic caucus. Senator Booker compares Judge Jackson’s contributions to the nation to that of Harriet Tubman and says he believes America will be better because of her. I would be so inclined to agree with him. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson constantly shows she is the epitome of the word perseverance as she tackles the line of questioning with the grace of a gazelle and the strength of a lion. In the words of Senator Booker, ‘Nobody’s going to steal my joy. Nobody’s going to make me angry.’ Change is here and history is happening everyday. I am extremely excited that someone who looks like me finally has a seat at the table. This is just one young American’s perspective on our future Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.