CNN Opinion asked contributors to weigh in on President Joe Biden’s selection of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the US Supreme Court. The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the contributors.
Fatima Goss Graves: A nomination that should unite the country
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is an eminently qualified public servant with distinguished experience as a federal judge, and her historic nomination promises an end to the erasure of Black women from our most sacred legal institutions. She brings extensive litigation experience at every level of the federal court system, including distinguished service as a federal public defender. As a district court judge, she ruled on over 550 cases and is renowned for her careful, methodical approach to ensuring equal justice under the law on reproductive rights, disability rights and workers’ rights.
Frankly, this is a nomination that should unite the country. Diversity strengthens the integrity of the institution to the broader public and, in particular, the many Black women who face many of the harshest injustices of our system today. It’s critical for the US Supreme Court to understand the impact of its rulings in the real world, and it can’t do that until it reflects the country it governs. Jackson will move us closer to a more fair and just system for women, for Black Americans and for everyone on the side of equality before the law.
It is incumbent upon US senators to give her a fair and timely confirmation without obstruction, honoring their constitutional duty to advise and consent – and their moral duty to treat her with the respect and dignity she deserves.
Fatima Goss Graves is president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center.
Elie Honig: A nominee Republicans will be hard-pressed to oppose
First things first: it’s about time. It’s long past time. For the first time in the history of the US Supreme Court, a Black woman has been nominated as a Justice.
And, to be clear, you will not find a more qualified nominee than Judge (likely soon-to-be Justice) Kentaji Brown Jackson. She graduated from Harvard, both undergrad and law school. She clerked for a federal district court judge and then, in a nice bit of symmetry, nabbed a mega-prestigious clerkship with Justice Stephen Breyer, who she now stands to replace.
She worked in private practice and for the US Sentencing Commission before she became a federal district court judge in 2013. Last year, she was nominated as a federal appellate judge, winning confirmation with 53 votes, including three Republicans. I have seen her in action on the bench, and I came away exceptionally impressed. In the case I covered, she was prepared, sharp, incisive and fair.
Senate Republicans can act one of two ways in the wake of Jackson’s nomination. They can dig in and oppose it, but they don’t have much of substance to work with – and they’ll likely lose anyway, given the current Democratic Senate majority (which will presumably be coupled with