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‘Trailblazing Nomination’: SPLC lauds choice for U.S. Supreme Court

We welcome President Biden’s historic nomination today of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Pending confirmation by the Senate, Judge Jackson would be the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. In more than 230 years, and out of 115 justices, Judge Jackson would become the sixth woman justice of our nation’s highest court. 

Judge Jackson’s extraordinary legal credentials and personal life experiences make her an exceptional nominee. Her parents were forced to attend segregated primary schools, but she overcame discriminatory obstacles to graduate with honors from Harvard University and Harvard Law School. And since graduating from law school, Judge Jackson’s extensive civil rights and public defense experience has equipped her to understand the real-life impact of the court’s decisions on Americans of all backgrounds and walks of life. Among her many legal firsts, she would be the first federal public defender to become a Supreme Court justice as well as the first since Thurgood Marshall to have criminal defense experience. 

Our citizens are best served by justices who represent our multicultural society and are committed to ensuring equal justice and protecting the rights of all Americans. When the Supreme Court includes members with different personal and legal backgrounds, that diversity and inclusion helps to improve decision-making on the bench — and increase public trust in the rulings. Because of Judge Jackson’s historic nomination, the high court is continuing to take necessary steps forward to include voices representative of the racial, ethnic and cultural makeup of our nation. 

We applaud President Biden for keeping his promise to nominate the first Black woman for the Supreme Court. This trailblazing nomination is reminiscent of President Lyndon Johnson’s June 1967 historic nomination of Thurgood Marshall to serve as the first Black Supreme Court justice. When she is confirmed, like Justice Marshall, there is little doubt she too will leave an indelible mark not just on the law, but also on our country.

Inscribed above the front entrance to the Supreme Court building are these words: “Equal Justice Under Law.” The nomination of Judge Jackson brings us one step closer to making that lofty ideal a reality. We urge the Senate to promptly confirm this extraordinary nominee.

Top picture: Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending judicial nominations on April 28, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Judge Jackson has been nominated by President Joe Biden to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Getty Images)