By James Wright Jr.
Leaders of Black women’s groups and their supporters rallied outside of the U.S. Supreme Court building in the District on Thursday to call on the U.S. Senate to confirm U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the high court.
President Biden tapped Jackson to replace retiring Associate Justice Stephen Breyer on Feb. 25. At the rally, Melanie Campbell, the president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBP) and convenor of the Black Women’s Roundtable that is meeting in the Washington area this week, told the gathering that Jackson is well-qualified to be a Supreme Court justice.
“The Black Women’s Roundtable is working in coalition with our allies to ensure that this nominee is treated fairly and is confirmed without delay,” Campbell said to the gathering of over 50 people.
Capitol Hill observers say confirmation hearings for Jackson could take place during the week of March 21, with a floor vote on her nomination possibly by early April. No Democrat has risen to oppose her confirmation. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has indicated he may vote to oppose Jackson, but Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) recently said she is open to supporting her. The Senate’s filibuster rules don’t apply in Supreme Court justice nominations so Jackson needs just 51 votes to become the first Black woman to serve on the high court.
Janice Mathis, the president and CEO of the National Council of Negro Women, served as one of the speakers at the rally.
“Now we will be truly represented on the court,” Mathis said.
Sheila Katz, the president and CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, said “we all want to see Judge Jackson confirmed.”
“We are talking about having a fair federal judiciary and Supreme Court for all of the people,” Katz said. “She represents the diversity of America. When the Supreme Court was founded over 200 years ago, it was set up by white men who favored people that looked like them. Now we have the chance to continue to change that.”
Jakota Eaddy, the convenor of WIN with Women, said everyone wins if Jackson is confirmed.
“The U.S. Supreme Court will win,” Eaddy said. “Black women will win. Black people will win. All Americans will win when Judge Jackson gets on the court.”
Judge Carlos E. Moore, the president of the National Bar Association, the trade group for Black attorneys, judges, paralegals, and law students, said if Jackson is confirmed as a justice “it will have positive reverberations for decades to come.”
“Judicial diversity is important,” Moore said. “She will bring a diverse perspective on the court. The Senate should confirm her unanimously.”
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