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Justice Jackson is Breaking Barriers

Ketanji Brown Jackson is a mother, Black woman, former public defender, and soon-to-be Supreme Court justice. On April 4th, all 50 Senate Democrats, including two independents, were expected to vote for Jackson’s confirmation after Senator Susan Collins confirmed her decision.

These decisions were based on Jackson’s "credentials, experience, and even-handed approach to the administration of justice make her an outstanding nominee to the Supreme Court” (Snell). Jackson’s experience of serving as a public defender followed by eight years as a federal trial court judge gives her the credibility to succeed in the highest court.

Growing up in Miami, Jackson has always had the potential to be a successful judge. As a prominent debater in high school, she was elected student body president of Miami Palmetto High School.

However, her journey to becoming the well-regarded leader she is today was not always supported. Her high school guidance counselor told her that she should not “set her sights so high” when she applied to Harvard. Eventually being accepted, Jackson has been breaking barriers ever since.

As a Black woman, Jackson met many accusations from Republican senate leaders after her nomination. Senator Ted Cruz criticized Jackson for having ties to critical race theory from her time on a school board in Washington. Citing graphics from a book that the school taught, Cruz attacked Jackson’s beliefs.

Jackson responded by clarifying that she did not have any influence on the school’s curriculum. She added that she does “not believe that any child should be made to feel as though they are racist or as though they are not valued … that they are victims or they are oppressors” (Jackson).

Although many Republicans shared a similar sentiment, she maintained a myriad of support. Senator John Cornyn told Jackson, “Obviously, your nomination is historic…I think it’s long overdue” (Cornyn).

Jackson’s confirmation will not change the current ideological balance of the court, as she will replace Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires. However, when confirmed, Jackson will be the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court as she continues to break barriers and make history.

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