Who is Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first black woman appointed to the Supreme Court?

Is a “historic day”greeted Joe Biden, the president of the United States. After four days of hearings, the Senate confirmed the appointment as Magistrate of the Supreme Court of Justice of Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first African-American magistrate enter the temple of American law, one of whose missions is to settle important social debates in the country, such as abortion or homosexual marriage.

This nomination was met with a standing ovation from Democrats in the House. she also went praised by Michelle Obama, as well as Martin Luther King III, the son of the civil rights icon, or the charismatic Stacey Abrams, the black candidate for governor of Georgia. Back in a flawless race.

The daughter of a teacher born in Florida

Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, spent his entire childhood in Miami, Florida, in a family of public teachers. His mother, Ellery Brown, became director of public education and her father, Johnny Brown, earned a law degree after returning to school.

For “pride of her heritage” Y “hope for the future”his parents gave him an African name, Ketanji Onyika, which means “the enchantress”, he told Congress during his confirmation hearing to become a Supreme Court justice on March 21. Unlike them, who “having personally experienced segregation”underlined it “opportunity” born after the great civil rights struggles of the 1960s that brought down many racist laws in the southern states of the country.

bright student, Ketanji Brown Jackson he distinguished himself in eloquence contests and graduated from Harvard Law School. It was at this time that she met her future husband, Patrick G. Jackson, then a medical student. “He is the best husband, father and friend I could imagine”she said.

Married in 1996, Ketanji Brown Jackson and her husband have two daughters: Talia, 21, and Leïla, 17. Both were present during the confirmation hearing for their mother, who addressed them. “Girls, I know it hasn’t been easy as I’ve tried to deal with the challenges of juggling my career and motherhood. And I admit I haven’t always found the right balance. But I hope you’ve seen that with hard work, determination and love, it can be done”. reports CNN (in English).

A public defender before becoming a federal judge

Upon completion of his studies, Ketanji Brown Jackson alternates experiences in the private sector, in law firms, and in the public, particularly in the Sentencing Commission, an independent agency tasked with harmonizing criminal policy in the United States. During her career as a lawyer, she was called upon to defend defendants who could not afford their own lawyers, being assigned to the legal aid service in Washington.

“Any person accused of criminal conduct by the government, regardless of wealth and the nature of the charges, is entitled to the assistance of an attorney.”

Ketanji Brown Jackson

during his hearing before the Senate

She also explained that her ignorance of the law caught her attention and that, once she became a judge, she took “Good care” explain their decisions to those convicted, so that they understand the seriousness of their acts and the penalty imposed.

In 2013, his career took a new turn. Democratic President Barack Obama appoints her as a federal judge in Washington. Over the next eight years, she dictated dozens of decisions. In 2019, theShe undermines President Donald Trump, who is trying to prevent Congress from summoning one of his advisers in the case of alleged collusion between Moscow and the future president’s campaign in 2016. “The main lesson to be learned from the last 250 years of American history is that presidents are not kings,” she wrote?years a long text (PDF in English).

A candidate endorsed by Joe Biden and elected Democrats

His nomination was a campaign promise of Joe Biden. That is why, as soon as he is elected in 2021, he appoints Ketanji Brown Jackson to the influential Federal Court of Appeals in Washington, considered a springboard for the Supreme Court. And when progressive Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, announces his decision to leave the Supreme Court in January, it makes sense that Joe Biden picks Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace him. She had been his assistant at the beginning of his career in 1990-2000.

All elected members of the Democratic Party and three moderate Republican senators, Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, voted to bring this seasoned attorney into the temple of American law. “You are here because you deserve it” and “No one will steal my joy!” Black Senator Cory Booker launched during the hearing, in a flight that brought a tear to the magistrate. In 233 years of existence, the highest judicial institution in the country has never experienced only five women, four white and one Hispanic, and two black men, one of whom, Clarence Thomas, was appointed by George Bush Sr. and is still in office.

During his hearing in Congress, Ketanji Brown Jackson assumed the role of “model” for “girls from all over the country” and hopes his Supreme Court nomination will increase “the trust” African Americans in the justice system. During her previous confirmation process, she had already sworn to keep aside, in her work as a judge, “your personal opinions and any other inappropriate considerations”, including skin color. But “I can have a different life experience than my colleagues”she added. And I hope it might be of interest.

A judge who aroused Republican opposition

Y Ketanji Brown Jackson was a fairly popular candidate among public opinion, she had to face attacks from Republican senators during her hearing. The elected Republicans criticized the balance of the magistrate to present it as a “militant judge kind to crime” raise it up guardian (article in English). Several have accused her of having imposed too light sentences in several cases of child pornography, underlines the Washington Post (article in English). Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn also noted the seat occupied by the magistrate on the board of directors of a school that “Promoting an anti-racist education program for white families”informs the New York Times (paid article).

Although the appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson it is memorable, it does not change the political composition of the Supreme Court, which remains one of the most conservative in recent decades. The transfer of power between Stephen Breyer and Ketanji Brown Jackson should take place on June 30.

Leave a Comment