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Implications of first Black female nominated to Supreme Court

Ketanji Brown Jackson
Posted at 10:42 PM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-26 00:01:24-05

(WXYZ) — President Biden on Friday picked the first Black female nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. It's a historic decision at the tail end of Black History Month.

People on both sides of the aisle have stated, in so many words, it's a promise made and promise kept by the Biden administration. He followed through on picking a Black woman as stated on the campaign trail.

His pick, appeals court Judge and Harvard Law School graduate Ketanji Brown Jackson, said on Friday, “I am truly humbled by the extraordinary honor of this nomination.”

Merle Vaughn, national law firm diversity recruiter for Major, Lindsey and Africa, told 7 Action News that it’s about time.

“You’ve had these women and other women who have been qualified prior to this and nobody has asked the question, why they haven’t been considered," Vaughn said.

Robyn Lynn McCoy, president of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, said she advocates for more qualified Black judges at every level of the judicial system. It's representation she believes helps counter systemic discrimination.

“I think America is one of the greatest countries in the world, but we still do have issues as far as a caste system, as far as race, class and gender,” McCoy explained.

Now Jackson awaits the confirmation process in the Senate.

Dave Dulio, professor of political science at Oakland University said, "I think the big comparison is the nomination and confirmation battle when Justice Ginsberg passed away.”

He pointed out that President Donald Trump replaced a liberal justice with a conservative. This time, a liberal judge has been selected to replace another liberal justice, Judge Stephen Breyer.

“So, the ideological balance of the court is not going to change. I think that that will take the heat down a little bit. Keyword, a little bit, on this confirmation process," Dulio explained.

He also noted Jackson was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals by the Senate just last summer, with three Republicans voting in support of her. Dulio said that may work in Jackson's favor.

“I think it’s going to matter for young girls. It’s going to matter for women, Black women going to law school," Vaughn said.

McCoy said, "I was 14 when I decided I wanted to be a lawyer, and I was mentored. My father’s my first mentor. When I was in college, I was at the University of Chicago. Michelle Obama was there and she mentored me. She helped me with my law school application, and so what it says to young girls, young woman is that in America, anything is possible.”

Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel put out a statement calling Jackson "a radical, left-wing activist" and says she will rubber-stamp Biden's "disastrous agenda."