Reactions to Jackson

Confirmation of first Black female justice inspires students, faculty


Ketanji Brown Jackson is the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

by Zoya Haq, Jade Editor

The confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court serves as a macrocosm of the mission of Hockaday, said Tresa Wilson, Director of Inclusion and Community.

“I hope that people see this in the larger context of the Hockaday community, as it is what we all want for every girl, every young woman on this campus,”  Wilson said.

Jackson, sworn in April 7, is the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court in its 232 year history. Her appointment has inspired faculty and students alike.

“I think that Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation really aligns with Hockaday’s mission statement of living with purpose and impact,” junior Maddie Muller said.

Jackson’s confirmation marks a watershed moment in American judicial affairs. President Joe Biden reaffirmed this statement in his remarks on Jackson’s confirmation.

“We’re going to look back and see this as a moment of real change in American history,” Biden said.

Jackson joins Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Amy Coney Barrett on a Supreme Court that, for the first time, includes more female justices than white males. She is the third African-American to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Jackson began her legal career in 1996 as a law clerk to the Hon. Patti Saris on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. From 1999-2000, she served as a law clerk to the Hon. Stephen Breyer, the Supreme Court justice whose vacancy paved the way for    Jackson’s nomination.

In 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Jackson as judge to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the nation’s second highest court. She presided over this court until June of 2021.

In the Senate, however, Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination faced pushback from the GOP.

“When Judge Jackson appeared last year before the Judiciary Committee, I was troubled by aspects of her record, including her record on crime and criminal justice,” Missouri Sen. Josh    Hawley said.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn accused Jackson of supporting “critical race theory.”

Ultimately, though, three Republican senators —- Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) — cast their votes in Jackson’s favor, joining all 50 Democratic senators to ensure a 53-47 majority            for Jackson.

“After reviewing Judge Jackson’s record and testimony, I have concluded that she is a well-qualified jurist and a person of honor,” Romney said.

Jackson is expected to be sworn in this summer, after Justice Stephen Breyer finishes his    judicial term.

The national reaction to Jackson’s confirmation shone through among Hockaday students.

“As a woman myself, I find it really inspiring that we’re getting more women in the Supreme Court and also getting more representation,” junior Lillian Castrillon said.

In a White House speech following her confirmation, Jackson framed her Supreme Court success within the greater context of              America’s history.

“I am the dream of the slave,” Jackson said. “In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.”