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National Black Justice Coalition on the Nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court

CONTACT: Brett Abrams | 

WASHINGTON, DC —  This morning, it was reported that President Biden plans to nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court. If approved by the Senate, Judge Jackson would be the first Black woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.

In reaction to Judge Jackson’s nomination, David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, a leading Black LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, issued the following statement: 

“The nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court is historic – not just because if confirmed she will be the first Black woman to serve on the court but because she is also the first former public defender to be nominated for this role. 

“Make no mistake, Judge Jackson’s lived and professional experience make her uniquely qualified for the Supreme Court and her role in bringing equity to sentencing is an important skill set currently missing from the Supreme Court.  She comes from a family of police officers, worked as a public defender, and served on the bipartisan U.S. Sentencing Commission as well as a judge on the District Court and D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal. She understands how the law affects everyday people’s lives and had demonstrated an enduring commitment to civil and human rights. Her handling of cases during her time as a public defender showed she won real victories that advanced racial justice and equal treatment under the law. 

“We welcome Judge Jackson’s nomination and urge the Senate to swiftly confirm her to the Supreme Court.” 

Victoria Kirby York, deputy executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, added: 

“The U.S. Supreme Court is a branch of government that should include the diversity of life experiences of the American people on its bench. Judge Jackson would provide important racial and gender perspectives as well as cultural competency to assist in fair, equitable, and objective rulings.  Considering nearly half of the people in women’s prisons across the country identify as LGBTQ+, many of them Black, it is important that we see ourselves represented and reflected in our nation’s highest court and representation of the system.  As a Black non-binary woman and mother to a Black girl, this is a moment of joy, pride, and relief. It is hard to trust a system to consider its decisions’ impact on your life when no one with your lived experience is in it to reflect on the unequal and inequitable impact on your life. Judicial rulings may strive to be objective, but the impact is often not race or gender-neutral. Justice Jackson, much like Justice Sotomayor, will bring the intersecting experiences of being a racial minority, a woman, a wife, and a mother alongside the traditional credentials of the court in ways that will prayerfully make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans too often made invisible in the decisions affecting our lives.

“It’s long past time that we had a Black woman on the highest Court in the land – and we are excited to work to support Judge Jackson’s confirmation.” 

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.