supreme court judge ketanji brown jacksonHis first day on the Supreme Court is Monday, just 55 years and one day after Thurgood Marshall became our nation’s first African-American Supreme Court justice in October 1967.
Justice Jackson is also making history in her own right today with her arrival on the bench, as she is the first African-American woman to reach this milestone. Jackson’s appointment Part of President Biden’s agenda to increase diversity. Federal Court of JusticeTo date, eight of the 13 presidential nominations to the circuit court have been confirmed.
“Of the 143 federal judges appointed by the president, 68% are women, 66% are people of color, and 31% of them are African American. There were only eight people.” Griot report.
Prior to and throughout the nomination process for Judge Jackson, the Black Women Leadership Collective (BWLC), the “Organizing Hub for National Black Women’s Organizations, Advocates and Advocates,” has been instrumental in mobilizing support. We aim to use that collective effort to make sure it gets heard in our community…[and] A cross-generational gathering of black women leaders across the country. ”
Their efforts certainly bore fruit, statement After the Senate’s confirmation reflected these sentiments, “our joy and pride as black women is a testament to this as Judge Jackson demonstrated her character, integrity, depth of knowledge, and respect for the Constitution.” It deepened through the process.Judge Jackson shattered another glass ceiling and showed Black girls.Affirming that their hopes and dreams have no limits and that we are all created equal. increase.”
In connection with this special moment, ESSENCE met with two BWLC leaders, Power Rising co-chair Bishop Leah Daughtry, and CNN political commentator Karen Finney, to announce that Judge Jackson’s appearance on court is for our country. We discussed what it meant. The November midterm elections and the political power of black women are at stake.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Essence: Can you tell us about the significance of Judge Jackson’s first day in court?
Finney: Frankly, it’s hard to put into words, but I’ll try. This is just another glorious step in making our country more just and representative, and justice more reflective of who we are. It is a testament to her brilliance, integrity, and strength that starts her off as not only the most capable but also the most popular person on the Supreme Court. It’s a beautiful moment for our country. It’s for everyone, especially black women and young black women, but it’s for all Americans. You should be proud of what you mean.
Essence: Can you talk about the role of black women in political power?
Daughtry: Judge Jackson’s confirmation and current inauguration is actually the result of black women turning up on the ballot during the presidential election cycle. Our votes for President Biden and Vice President Harris, and our votes in Georgia, and many other important states gave us the Senate, gave us the White House, nominated Judge Jackson, gave her the Senate approval. It’s a straight line from we found out to vote until she’s approved. That’s why it’s important that we keep showing up for the issues we need and the people we want to meet in the office so we can get more Justice Jackson.
Finney: I think we need to look at both what has been achieved by participating and what has yet to be done. We need to codify reproductive freedom, protect voting rights, do more to support families such as childcare, and reform our criminal justice system. There are various issues, many of which are based on concerns of black women, and we have made progress on some of these things. As I explained, when we show up, we make a difference. What it means for our lives, the direction of our country, and beyond.
The bottom line: Tell us more about why it’s so important for black women to vote in this November’s midterm elections.
Daughtry: If you look at recent history, you’ll see that the black women’s vote is one of the largest, if not the largest, and most consistent voting block in the country. Someone who delivers results and makes a difference. Everywhere black women concentrate and vote, we can make a difference for these races. There are so many critical issues happening to the country right now, and it especially affects black women. Reproductive freedom, our education system, or economic issues. These are the things that impact the daily lives of everyday black women and their families. Our votes matter.
Despite the voter suppression issues we see every day across the country and all the voter suppression laws passed, we believe black women will find a way to show up to vote and have their voices heard. Really try to redirect country. And the path our country is taking now is the trajectory it has been on. Beneath some of these MAGA Republicans, far-right, white supremacists running for office, we can stem the tide. Inject common-sense realities into election cycles and issues. I can. We are known for analyzing problems, sizing candidates, and choosing what’s best for our families, communities, and us. That is why our votes are always wanted, they are in demand and they turn out to be voted every time. .
Watch: The Black Woman Who Helped Affirm Justice for the First Black Woman in the U.S. Supreme Court
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Finney: I worked on the polls for the special election in Georgia, and black voters literally made the difference. Black people who did not vote in the November 2020 election are now participating in the January 2021 special election. Given the impact and consequences of our participation, there would be no Justice Jackson and no COVID recovery plan if we did not. We don’t even have money to go to the states for infrastructure. No $35 insulin. It literally helped change the direction of the country and there is still work to be done.
That’s part of why it’s so important for us to be here this November. America is in a very critical time, and it’s not a return to the 1950s. We’re talking about the 1850s in terms of how regressive some of these MAGA ideas are, and how dangerous some of the Republicans running for Senate are.
If we want to keep moving forward on issues that directly affect our lives and the direction of this country, we have to keep showing up as long as we want more Justice Jackson, You have to understand that voting is not a lifestyle. A one time thing to make real change.
Daughtry: I would like to add that I was sitting at the hearing during Judge Jackson’s hearing. [Senator] Lindsay Graham made a very political statement. He said Judge Jackson is very competent, but if his party was in charge, she would not have been heard even if she was competent.
I’ve never heard anything so blatantly political in such a setting, so my mouth is open. Since you promised to restore it, it will soon disappear. Do we want to go back to a time when our ancestors were enslaved and unable to make decisions about their own bodies? But more than that, I just want a marker. This is not just a federal election. Elections are held for mayors, state senators, state legislators, and governors across the country, who have the power and power to make laws in the states in which we live, and to affect our lives.we [Black women] I know how to scale the problem. We know how to judge candidates and we know what’s best for our community. So this is a very important time for us to show up and do what we know to take back our country.
The essence: There are record numbers of black women running for Congress this cycle. What kind of support does the BWLC provide and what do you think this means for our country?
Daughtry: Black women are strong, active advocates for the rights of elected leaders, that they can win, that they need to run, and that they are the means to lead our country elsewhere. I understand that you have talent.
What a joy it is to see this record number of people running for office! All of our community’s partner organizations are running for office, mobilizing people, and registering women to vote. , do their part in states that organize women to vote and help people plan to vote. States with voter suppression laws. We actively participate and do everything we can with our networks to ensure that women and communities have what they need to participate, register and vote.
Finney: It’s part of the power of the collective, it supports each other’s work, it amplifies and lifts what each organization is doing, and it helps us expand our power. We look very closely at how and where we can make the biggest difference, not only in terms of women voting, but in helping ensure black women are elected at every level of government. On top of that, we also use our time, talents and wisdom to help candidates problem solve and to be a resource and support when needed. It can be hard and lonely at times. Because when we leverage together, that’s how we move forward.
https://www.essence.com/news/justice-ketanji-brown-jackson-first-day-supreme-court/ Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson begins his first day on the U.S. Supreme Court.voice of activist