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First Black woman appointed to Supreme Court

Words by Smiley Team

In April 2022, history went down. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to the US Supreme Court by a vote of 53-47.

Judge Jackson’s confirmation makes her the 116th Supreme Court Justice and also marks the first Black woman to sit on the highest court in the United States.

“When I made the commitment to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, I could see this day.  I literally could see this day, because I thought about it for a long, long time,” President Biden said during a confirmation hearing. 

“I could see it as a day of hope, a day of promise, a day of progress; a day when, once again, the moral arc of the universe, as Barack (Obama) used to quote all the time, bends just a little more toward justice.”

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Judge Jackson will be replacing Justice Steven Breyer who is retiring later this year and will be taking the seat officially sometime in the summer.

“I have dedicated my career to public service because I love this country and our Constitution and the rights that make us free,” Jackson said in comments at the White House following her confirmation.

“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States,” she said. “But we’ve made it. We’ve made it, all of us. In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.”

Along with being the first Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Jackson is also the first Justice to have worked in a public defender’s office.

“Her opinions are always carefully reasoned, tethered to precedent, and demonstrate respect for how the law impacts everyday people,” President Biden said.

“It doesn't mean she puts her thumb on the scale of justice one way or the other. But she understands the broader impacts of her decisions, whether it's cases addressing the rights of workers or government service. She cares about making sure that our democracy works for the American people.”

Inspired to act?

SUPPORT: Check out Community Voices Heard, a Black-led community organization out of New York.

GET INVOLVED: The Loveland Foundation provides financial support to Black women and girls seeking therapy and mental health support.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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