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Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed as the 116th Supreme Court Justice Thursday afternoon by the Senate – the first black woman to serve on the highest court in the United States.
The vote broke down 53-47; the 50 Democrats and 3 Republicans – the senses. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah – voted in favor of confirmation.
Robin Joyce Miller, Cape Town-based artist, author, educator, speaker and co-presenter of the Cotuit Center for the Arts series “Black Art Matters: Master Artists Tell Our Story,” described the confirmation as an “incredible moment in America.” . the story.”
Ketanji Brown Jackson: Confirmed by the Senate as the first black woman on the Supreme Court
“This is so important on so many levels. But for young black girls aspiring to law, there are absolutely no limits. Judge KBJ shattered the glass ceiling,” Miller said.
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Jeanne Morrison, former deputy general manager of diversity and civil rights for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and current co-vice president of the League of Women Voters Cape Cod, said Brown Jackson’s record “speaks for itself. “.
“She’s obviously the creme de la creme,” Morrison said. Finally, after 233 years, we have named a black woman to the highest court. This is another victory for democracy, especially in these tumultuous times in which we find ourselves.
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Morrison, who serves on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Women of Color Coalition, the Cape Cod branch of the NAACP and the Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission, also spoke about the importance of representation of black women, not just on the Supreme Court, but in every position of power in America.
“Any great or strong nation is based on a reflection of its demographics in its legal and legislative bodies,” she said. “If we want to be a strong country, a united country, we need everyone to have a sense of belonging. When we start to become more inclusive, we’ll start to do more things right. »
John Reed, president of the NAACP Cape Cod chapter, said he believes Brown Jackson is overqualified for the position. He stressed the importance of her varied experience as a lawyer, as she is the first judge in three decades to have spent time as a public defender.
“It’s another feather in our cap,” Reed said. “She is an access point that people can turn to for real justice.”
He applauded Brown Jackson for his performance during his congressional confirmation hearings, which he called “sometimes ridiculous.”
“It’s one thing to ask smart questions, but to sit there and ask a judge what a woman is is just ridiculous to me,” Reed said in reference to Republican Senator from Tennessee Marsha Blackburn asking to Brown Jackson for providing a definition of the word “woman.”
“Some of them behaved like clowns,” he said.
Cool under pressure
Miller also mentioned Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings and said she was “amazed” at how the judge kept her cool under pressure.
“When I first discovered Ketanji Brown Jackson, I was impressed,” she said. “However, after watching the hearings, I knew she was very smart, experienced and ready for the position of Supreme Court justice.”
She also said she felt some of the lines of questioning, like Sen. Blackburn’s, were an attempt to “play Trump’s base” to discredit Brown Jackson.
“They couldn’t get it on character or intelligence or experience,” she said. “His credentials are impeccable.”
“It’s a no-brainer that black excellence is a big part of American society,” Morrison said.
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Morrison said she didn’t watch the hearings much, partly because of her schedule, but also because she felt they were reminiscent of the Anita Hill hearings in 1991, where Hill had testified against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas on charges of sexual harassment.
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“It would have been too painful to watch because I felt like it was like what Anita Hill had to go through,” she said. “You know, she had to be on the world stage. Brown Jackson’s track record is exceptional because as a black woman, it had to be. I think it’s important to recognize now how important this is.
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Morrison noted, however, that despite the “political politics” during confirmation hearings that she sometimes found preposterous, at the end of the day, Brown Jackson emerged victorious.
“His strength, his character and his academic and legal record persevered and got him through it,” Morrison said. “It’s the first in a long line. It’s American history, you know, and it should include people of color, women, and other groups. Women of color are on the rise.
Contact Sarah Carlon at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Cape Codders Praise High Court Confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson
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