No matter who President Joe Biden nominated to the Supreme Court, controversy was certain to follow. Though past presidents vowed to nominate women to the Supreme Court-and both Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump did-it is somehow controversial for President Biden to do the same. The only other difference is the color of this nominee’s skin, which seems to be an issue for some Republicans. Of course, none of them have the nerve to say so out loud. Instead, the Guardian reported that some are complaining about the way Brett Kavanaugh was treated, and Lindsey Graham has accused President Biden of catering to the “radical left.” Graham was all smiles when Michelle Childs was on the list, but now, he has a problem with Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination, even though he voted her onto the federal bench. Hypocrites.
Jim Clyburn appeared on “Face the Nation” to address the issue: “This is beyond politics. This is about the country, our pursuit of a more perfect union, and this is demonstrative of another step in that pursuit.” He is right. The Guardian provided some numbers that bring this point home: Of the 115 Supreme Court justices, 108 have been white men. Only two have been Black men and only five have been female. Brown Jackson’s nomination will bring a total of four women to the current SCOTUS. Interestingly, even as Republicans complain about Brown Jackson, University of Texas professor Steve Vladeck pointed out that Brown Jackson has more trial experience than four of the current justices combined, including Chief Justice John Roberts. Brown Jackson is more than qualified for her appointment, but that is not all she brings to the table.
Brown Jackson is a graduate of Harvard, both undergrad and her law degree. She clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer, whom the Guardian described as “particularly picky” when it came to law clerks. Judge Brown Jackson spent years in private practice, but she also served on the United States Sentencing Commission where she advocated for reduced sentences for drug users. She also served as a federal public defender, making her the first nominated to the high court and only the second with extensive criminal defense experience, the first being Justice Thurgood Marshall. Though Republicans are now whining about her nomination, three of them voted for her nomination to the federal bench, and as the Guardian reported, they will be hard pressed to find anything negative in her record to keep her off the Supreme Court.
Ketanji Brown Jackson will be a terrific role model for Black girls everywhere. Her parents supported her dreams, which materialized at a young age and which she has successfully pursued. According to the Guardian, she wrote in her high school yearbook that she wanted to be a judge someday. That dream has been fulfilled for Brown Jackson, and other young Black girls can pursue the same path that Brown Jackson has paved for them. As with Vice President Kamala Harris, Brown Jackson will be the first, but she won’t be the last.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years