On April 7, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson made history, becoming the first Black woman to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the nation.
When she is sworn in after the court’s current term, Jackson will be the first Black woman to serve on the court in its 233-year history.
With a Senate confirmation vote of 53-47, Judge Jackson defied the odds and showed the world just what Black women can do.
Her confirmation was no easy feat, but Justice Jackson showed how determined she was to make history and continue ensuring justice for America as she stood her ground confidently during confirmation hearings.
Judge Jackson was one of many Black women President Joe Biden considered to fill the upcoming vacancy on the court, and she received much support from citizens across the nation.
As a two-time graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School, Jackson will fill the seat of Justice Breyer, for whom she was a clerk after graduating from law school.
Marsha Jean-Baptiste, a first-year law student at IU’s Maurer School of Law, said she feels seen by the world after the confirmation.
“This most recent historic event brought me tremendous joy,” Jean-Baptiste said. “As a future lawyer, it feels like a door has been opened for me to new possibilities.”
Many Black women and girls have seen why representation matters and feel they can conquer the world. I feel this way as well.
As an aspiring lawyer, this confirmation means the world to me.
“Representation really does matter,” Jean-Baptiste said. “In this day and age, we already know that anything is possible, but now we have faith in the plausibility of these achievements.”
For a space which has traditionally been white and male, the Supreme Court will now have four women serving as justices, two of whom belong to minority communities.
While Black people expect Justice-to-be Jackson to exceedingly represent Black people in the court, Jean-Baptiste said we should remain aware of her duties and obligations.
“As a community, we need not expect Justice Jackson to represent the Black community in her opinions and judgment,” Jean-Baptiste said. “We have to understand that her role as a Supreme Court Justice is to rule fairly and impartially with respect to her prior life and legal experience.”
Jackson will serve on the highest court, and history books will forever recognize her.
“I hope Black women and girls know that they should strive to be their best, not strive to be accepted by everyone,” Jean-Baptiste said. “Because as we have seen, no matter how qualified you are, there will surely be obstacles, but that should not discourage them from pursuing their goals.”
No matter what prevails and stands before us, Black women always persevere. Congratulations, Judge Jackson.