Brown Jackson confirmed as new Supreme Court Justice

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Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed as the newest Supreme Court Justice on April 7, 2022. (Credit: Kevin Lamarque/ AFP/ Getty Images)

Avanee Walker

She has made history by being the first black woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice. 

Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed as the newest U.S. Supreme Court Justice on April 7, 2022. Jackson knew she wanted to pursue law since she was in preschool; she credits her interest in law to watching her father study and do his law homework.

In high school, Jackson accomplished many achievements, such as holding the position of student body president, being a speech and debate star, and being “mayor” of Miami Palmetto High School. 

Even though she achieved a lot, her guidance counselor told Jackson that she shouldn’t set her “sights too high” when Jackson told the counselor that she wanted to study law at Harvard. 

Jackson’s nomination was “inspiring and hopeful,” and in the end, she was rightfully appointed as the new U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Ghada Sayed, social media head of the IHS African American Studies Student Association (AASSA), was inspired by her appointment.

“It’s very inspiring to see a woman from the same background as me put in the work and get into a school like Harvard Law,” said Sayed. “I feel like it’s a really impactful thing.”

Jackson graduated from Harvard Law School in (1996) and has had many roles such as a federal public defender, a Supreme Court Clerk, and a Judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (2013-2021).

“She has established herself as a successful black woman. She is over-qualified for the role that she was put in,” said Sayed. “I think she worked very hard and deserved everything that she got.”

President Joe Biden made a campaign promise that if he gets the chance, he would nominate the first Black woman to serve as the new Supreme Court Justice.

“I was honestly shocked because a lot of politicians say one thing and do the other,” said  Seleemah Mustapha, an AASSA member. “My thoughts weren’t really about Biden but more about the fact that it was a win for the Black community.”

During Jackson’s hearing, many of the politicians a part of the Senate Judiciary Committee were asking questions that had nothing to do with Brown-Jackson’s qualifications.

“I thought the questions were extremely disappointing,” said Sayed. “I feel like the questions being directed at her were very disrespectful and belittling.”

There have been a number of historical moments within law, such as the first woman to serve on the supreme court, Sandra Day O’Connor, to the first person of color to serve, Thurgood Marshall. But it’s different for Black women in America to “have someone that looks like them” serving as a Justice.

“Seeing people post about her, people that were non-black too, it felt comforting to know that people recognize that this is a big thing,” said Mustapha. “It’s not just like any other person getting put onto the Supreme Court.”

Although Brown-Jackson is qualified to serve in the Supreme Court, many people don’t feel as though she should be the new Justice.

Justice Jackson still faces ridicule regardless of her qualifications and it is very disappointing to see. However, she has been strong and fought for her place.

“We do have to do double the work and even when we do double the work, it’s still not enough to some people,” said Mustapha.

Reactions ranged from happiness to doubt even within the Supreme Court, but Jackson still achieved her goal.

“Her being confirmed was a great thing but it was also revealing to the fact that things need to change,” said Mustapha.