• Jade' Curtis

Confirmation of Judge Jackson as SCOTUS

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court Nominee took quite a while to be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. Why is that?

Jackson knew that she had wanted to become an attorney at an early age. Her father, once a Miami-Dade public school teacher, began law school when Jackson was in pre-school. Jackson would sit next to her father and do her schoolwork while he would do his, and this sparked her love of the law.

While in high school, Jackson was elected as the Student Body President, and in middle school, "She was a speech and debate star who was elected 'mayor,'" according to whitehouse.gov. During high school, Jackson had the goal of attending Harvard University, but her guidance counselor believed attending Harvard was not attainable for her.

Jackson proved wrong those who did not believe she would make it. She attended Harvard University and graduated in 1992 Magna Cum Laude; she then attended Harvard Law School, where she graduated in 1996 Cum Laude. After graduating from Harvard Law, Jackson clerked for Judge Patti Saris on the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, Judge Bruce Selya on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the first circuit and Judge Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Jackson has worked for many private firms as well.

In 2009, Jackson was nominated by former President, Barack Obama, to become Vice Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission. She was confirmed unanimously in this position in 2010. In 2012, she was nominated, again by Obama, to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. She was confirmed into the position in 2013.

Given Jackson’s qualifications and prior experience, it would be expected that her confirmation into the Supreme Court would be swift, but the senate panel at one point went into deadlock, split on her confirmation. Opposition to the confirmation of Judge Jackson was not solely in the senate. Individuals such as Fox News host, Tucker Carlson, opposed the confirmation of Judge Jackson as well, and wanted to see her Law School Admissions Test scores. Though, given her acceptance and graduation from both Harvard University as an undergraduate student and Harvard Law School, it can be assumed that her scores were considered good enough.

Apart from Jackson being questioned about her LSAT scores by Fox News host, during her hearing, she was also given questions about whether babies are racist and for her to define what a woman is. Jackson answered the questions given to her in a remarkable way.

Many have stated that Jackson’s skin color and gender identity has taken priority over her qualifications in her nomination to the Supreme Court, but one could question why it is an issue that a qualified Supreme Court nominee happens to be both black and a woman? Given her qualifications, it should not hurt Jackson in any capacity that she is a Black woman. With the lack of representation had for young Black girls in politics, Jackson will pave the way for many others.