Several women-led groups held a rally in front of the Supreme Court on Monday to bolster support for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ahead of her Senate confirmation hearings.
Black women-led organizations including The National Women’s Law Center Action Fund, She Will Rise, Black Women’s Roundtable and others have continued their rallies in support of D.C. Circuit Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson as a Senate Judiciary Committee considers her confirmation.
“This is a moment that is historic but also filled with so much possibility for all of us,” Fatima Goss Graces, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, proclaimed at a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court and a short distance from the Capitol Hill location where the confirmation hearings are held.
With a sizable crowd chanting and urging Senators to “confirm [Judge Jackson] today,” Graces and others spoke of Judge Jackson’s vast credentials and the potential she’d make as the first African American woman on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Inside the hearings, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) spelled out some of the Republican opposition to Judge Jackson.
Serving his seventh term in the Senate, the 88-year-old alluded to the rallies, noting how protesters stood outside the confirmation hearings of Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
He also claimed that Judge Jackson had blocked Republicans from obtaining internal U.S. Sentencing Commission documents. Judge Jackson once sat prominently on the commission. “As for her district court record, there have been some accusations that we cherry-picked some of Judge Jackson’s criminal cases,” Grassley said. “Well, don’t worry. We’re going to talk about other cases as well.”
Supporters have pointed to Judge Jackson’s strong career on the bench, and her ability to write concise opinions.
“After carefully vetting Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s record, it is clear that she has the extraordinary qualifications, experience, and character to serve the nation on the Supreme Court,” said Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
“Judge Jackson is a highly skilled and meticulous jurist who will bring a welcome perspective to the high court as the first Justice with experience as a public defender, and the first since Justice Thurgood Marshall to bring significant criminal defense experience to the Court.
The nation and its citizens are best served when Justices share the lived experiences as those that make up the country, said Melanie Campbell, the National Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable.
If confirmed as expected, it will be the first time a Justice will more closely understand what it’s like to be entangled in a criminal justice system that has unfairly treated BIPOC communities, Campbell noted. “The need for a fair judicial process is pertinent,” she stated.
“The Senate must focus on Judge Jackson’s qualifications, including her decades of experience as a federal judge and public defender, ethical track record, and faithfulness to the law to ensure that the reputation of the Court is not diminished during this process, ” Campbell concluded.
Here’s a list of organizations rallying in support of Judge Jackson:
• African American Ministers in Action
• Black Women’s Roundtable
• National Women’s Law Center
• She Will Rise
• Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
• National Council of Negro Women
• Higher Heights
• The National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc., Metropolitan Washington, DC Chapter
• National Black Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women (NOBEL Women)
• We Testify
• End Rape On Campus
• Black Women’s Health Imperative
• Black Girl Magic Network
• Ms. Foundation for Women
• National Education Association
• National Partnership for Women & Families
• Center for Popular Democracy Action
• ERA Coalition
• National Organization for Women
Watch the first day of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings here.
Stacy Brown is the NNPA Newswire Senior National correspondent.