The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) is overjoyed by the Senate’s bipartisan confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Justice-designate Jackson will be sworn in to replace Justice Stephen Breyer upon his retirement at the end of this term.
Says NCADV’s President/CEO, Ruth M. Glenn, “Today, the Senate made history by confirming the first Black woman Supreme Court justice. Justice-designate Jackson is a brilliant jurist and a person of impeccable character; she will be the benchmark by which all future nominees are measured. Her confirmation is an important step to ensuring the lived experiences of all Americans are represented on the Nation’s highest court.”
While we celebrate Justice-designate Jackson’s confirmation, we must also recognize the shameful racist and sexist attacks levied against her by some Senators during her confirmation hearings. It is the role of the Senate Judiciary Committee Members to ask Supreme Court nominees difficult questions; it is not their role to defame nominees’ characters, to shout at them, to interrupt them, to walk out of the hearing, and to treat them with general contempt. While Justice-designate Jackson was a model of judicial temperament, their treatment of Justice-designate Jackson sent a very harmful message to young Black women across the US: you can work hard and be far more qualified than many others who have come before, but at the end of the day, you will never be good enough to merit respect by those in power. This is a message that survivors of domestic violence know all too well, and it is unconscionable that some Senators perpetuated it.
However, the full Senate sent a different message: by confirming Justice-designate Jackson to the Supreme Court, a bipartisan majority of the Senate rejected racism and sexism. They recognized Justice-designate Jackson’s superior intellect, outstanding achievements, judicial acumen, and stellar character. Justice-designate Jackson’s confirmation was a testament to her personal qualities, a repudiation of hate, an affirmation for people of all colors and genders with high aspirations, a recommitment to the equal justice and the rule of law, and a victory for our nation. Today, we rejoice!