By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin its confirmation hearings to determine whether President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson will make history as the first Black woman on the highest court.
Beginning on Monday, March 21, Judge Jackson, a D.C. native, will publicly testify about her qualifications to serve on the high court.
The hearings should last four days.
In addition, Judge Jackson received some Republican support for three other posts, including her current position at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released a 12-page report detailing the pragmatic and empathetic judicial approach of Judge Jackson.
The HRC noted that the judge seeks to fill the seat of Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, whom they held out as a champion for LGBTQ+ equality.
The HRC report detailed Judge Jackson’s record and past statements on a range of civil rights and constitutional issues and how those would likely inform her work as a Supreme Court Justice.
“The Supreme Court and its Justices are tasked with the immeasurably sacred duty of upholding the rights and liberties of all Americans – including, but not limited to, the constitutional rights of LGBTQ+ people, communities of color, and other marginalized populations,” said Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign Interim President.
“After a thorough and careful review of Judge Jackson’s legal record, on the bench and off, it is clear that she will uphold and honor the principles of equal rights for all and continue Justice Breyer’s legacy as a pioneer of equality.”
“As such, the Human Rights Campaign is incredibly proud to support Judge Jackson to be the newest Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. There is absolutely no question – she is an exceptionally qualified candidate for this appointment. Her confirmation to our highest court will be historic and another step toward ensuring that our justice system reflects the nation that it serves.”
Overall, Judge Jackson’s record on the bench and as a practicing attorney reveals several important and encouraging qualities that are relevant to the mission of HRC and the LGBTQ+ community, the HRC said.
Judge Jackson graduated from Harvard University and later attended Harvard Law School, where she served as a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. In addition, she clerked for three federal judges (including Justice Breyer), worked in private practice, and served both on the United States Sentencing Commission and as a federal public defender in Washington, D.C.
In 2013, the United States Senate confirmed her to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The Senate also confirmed Judge Jackson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2021.
“Now, she is the first Black woman to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, adding significant racial, gender and professional diversity to our nation’s highest court,” HRC officials noted.
In a letter of “enthusiastic” support from Black male law deans and law professors, more than 100 said they stood “proudly to express our zealous support for the nomination and appointment of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
Addressed both the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and the chair and ranking members of the Senate Judiciary, the letter continued:
“We unanimously applaud and endorse, without reservation, President Joe Biden’s nomination of Judge Jackson, who is truly one of our nation’s brightest legal minds. From Judge Jackson’s breathtaking credentials as an extraordinary jurist to her unimpeachable character and unwavering integrity, we believe that she is eminently qualified to fill this historic position.”
Amidst growing political polarization across the country, Judge Jackson “will inspire a new generation of Americans to find middle ground and fight for liberty and equality for all, together,” the letter stated.
“We urge the United States Senate to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson as the next Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court without delay.”