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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Progressive Organizations Applaud Supreme Court Nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson

February 26, 2022

Yesterday, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, one of our nation's brightest legal minds, as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. President Biden sought a candidate with exceptional credentials, unimpeachable character, and unwavering dedication to the rule of law. Judge Jackson formerly clerked for Justice Breyer, and has broad experience across the legal profession – as a federal appellate judge, a federal district court judge, a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an attorney in private practice, and as a federal public defender. She has been confirmed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis three times – most recently last year for her current seat. If confirmed, Jackson will be the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Progressive advocacy organizations applauded her qualifications and acknowledging her historic nomination.

Here's what they are saying:

Lanae Erickson, Senior Vice President for Social Policy & Politics, Third Way: "President Biden is elevating a supremely qualified and remarkable woman to the Supreme Court in Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, bringing the highest court a step closer to reflecting America's diversity and strength. Third Way applauds President Biden's nomination of Judge Jackson, who has served the American people extraordinarily in her time as a public defender, trial court judge, and now appellate judge. She is a brilliant, dedicated public servant who will make history as the first Black woman on the Court. Judge Jackson's impressive record and thoughtful jurisprudence earned bipartisan support for her appointment to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. She is the right nominee for the Court and deserves bipartisan support again. She is qualified, ready, and able to serve the country. We strongly support her nomination and look forward to her swift confirmation."

Liz Fairchild, Executive Director, Business Forward: "Filling vacant seats on the Supreme Court in a timely manner is critical to upholding the nation's reliable rule of law, the foundation of a robust economic system. Ketanji Brown Jackson is a highly qualified jurist who has been confirmed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis three times. Judge Jackson would also be the first Black woman appointed to the Court, bringing a much-needed perspective to our federal judiciary. America's most respected companies recognize that prioritizing different voices makes their teams stronger. In seeking to increase diversity on the Court, President Biden is following the same principles that business leaders follow when hiring executives and building their boards. I urge the Senate to move swiftly and confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court." [Statement, 2/25/22]

Lindsay Lewis, Executive Director of the Progressive Policy Institute: "The Progressive Policy Institute applauds the Biden Administration for the historic nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the highest court in the land. Judge Jackson is an unequivocally qualified and highly respected judge, who has already been confirmed three times by the Senate with strong bipartisan support. We encourage Senate Republicans to put aside their typical tribalism, avoid politicizing this process, and confirm Judge Jackson in a timely manner." [Statement, 2/25/22]

Meagan Hatcher-Mays, Director of Democracy Policy, Indivisible: "We applaud President Biden's decision to nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman on the Supreme Court. Judge Jackson is an exceptional pick in more ways than one – in addition to being a highly qualified lawyer and respected judge, she will bring much-needed professional diversity to the Supreme Court's bench. Not since former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall retired has there been a justice with extensive criminal defense experience.

"Women and people of color need a justice with a strong record as a progressive that will finally fight for them. Ketanji Brown Jackson is that justice. Her time as a public defender allowed her to represent those who have the most at stake. Her time as a public defender allowed her to represent those who have the most at stake. That perspective is badly needed and long overdue on the court. We're excited to support her through this confirmation process that has already been filled with racist and sexist attacks from Republicans." [Statement, 2/25/22]

Gov. Steve Bullock, Gov. Deval Patrick, Sec. Tom Perez, and Cecile Richards, Co-Chairs of American Bridge 21st Century: "President Biden's selection of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the next justice on the Supreme Court is a historic decision. Her unparalleled resume and impressive, extensive legal record makes her extraordinarily qualified for this seat. Judge Jackson will make history as the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, sending a powerful message to all Americans. I applaud President Biden's choice and I wish Judge Jackson all the best throughout the confirmation process. I am delighted that President Biden has nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. A thoughtful, serious jurist who has lived and worked in a wide variety of settings with a wide variety of people, Judge Jackson combines a powerful intellect and practical experience, just what the Court needs. What a fitting appointee to make history. She deserves swift and bipartisan confirmation. After a rigorous process with input from senators of both parties and legal experts, President Biden has chosen Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. She is exceptionally qualified and has the experience, character, integrity, and dedication to the Constitution and rule of law to serve on the nation's highest court. Judge Jackson has been confirmed by members of both parties in the Senate on three different occasions and we're looking forward to seeing her be confirmed to the Supreme Court. We know that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be a strong voice for all Americans and with so much at stake her perspective is necessary on the Supreme Court. This nomination is historic and it is long overdue for a Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. We deserve a Court that reflects the country we live in, and we are hoping for an expedient and bipartisan confirmation by the Senate. President Biden picked an imminently qualified nominee in Judge Jackson and I congratulate her on her nomination."

Rahna Epting, Executive Director, MoveOn: "President Biden's reported nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court is a historic moment for our country and the ongoing fight to ensure that justice is equal under the law. We have gone more than 240 years without a Black woman on the Supreme Court, and it's long past time to see an excellent nominee who will bring that perspective. Ketanji Brown Jackson is an eminently qualified jurist with a remarkable record spanning Harvard Law School, a Supreme Court clerkship, and serving as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. She is the first nominee since Thurgood Marshall to have experience as a defense lawyer. We look forward to a swift confirmation, with which the GOP should have no qualms given Senator McConnell's track record of expediting Supreme Court nominees. " [Statement, 2/25/22]

Karen Hobert Flynn, President, Common Cause: "Two years ago today, President Joe Biden committed to nominating the first Black woman to the Supreme Court. His decision to nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson—an attorney with tremendous experience as a judge, public defender, appellate litigator, member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and Supreme Court clerk—represents a new day for the Court, ensuring it better reflects the diversity, perspectives, and experiences of every single American. Now that President Biden has chosen a nominee, the U.S. Senate must meet this moment of tremendous consequence with fairness and transparency. The confirmation of any Supreme Court justice is one of the most important moments for our democracy and constitutional system. The U.S. Senate owes it to the American people to ensure Judge Jackson receives a fair hearing and an up-or-down vote. The American people are tired of the political gamesmanship with our Court. It's time for the U.S. Senate to fulfill its duty and protect the integrity of our judicial system so that it is fair and representative of every American. The Supreme Court's profound influence over American life requires every senator to ensure Judge Jackson's historic and pathbreaking nomination process rises above the partisan politics of the day." [Statement, 2/25/22]

Ilyse Hogue: What an amazing pick and an historic moment. Hinting all of the incredible organizing that went into making this nomination a reality. I look forward to celebrating Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on SCOTUS.

Johanna Chao Kreilick, president, Union of Concerned Scientists: "Judge Jackson is an outstanding and experienced jurist who would be a strong addition to the U.S. Supreme Court. As the first Black woman nominated to be a Supreme Court justice, and the first nominee to ever serve as a public defender, Judge Jackson will also bring a new and vital perspective to the bench. If confirmed, she would be only the fifth woman and the third Black justice in the court's 233-year history. The Supreme Court's decisions have a real, meaningful effect on all of our lives, with impacts on environmental protection, civil rights, and the ability for voters to participate in free and fair elections. We hope that Judge Jackson will provide a strong voice for justice on a court that has in recent years undermined many of the policies and protections we rely on for a healthy democracy." [Statement, 2/25/22]

Russ Feingold, President, American Constitution: "ACS applauds President Biden's historic nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Jackson is exceptionally well qualified and will make an excellent justice if confirmed. Judge Jackson's extensive record as a judge demonstrates her commitment to fairness, impartiality, and equal justice for all. She served with distinction for over eight years on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, where she wrote nearly 600 opinions. Since last summer, she has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Supreme Court should reflect the diversity of the public it serves. And yet, to the collective detriment of the Court and our country, it never has. Today, President Biden has taken a critical and long overdue step towards diversifying the Court, and he has done so with an outstanding nominee who is committed to upholding the U.S. Constitution... This moment underscores the importance of this nomination, of a nominee with a proven track record of upholding constitutional rights and safeguarding the rule of law. We look forward to heralding Judge Jackson's impact and contribution to the Court and to our country for years to come." [Statement, 2/25/22]

Rakim H.D. Brooks, President, Alliance for Justice: "Today is an historic day. For the first time in the 233 years since our Constitution established the U.S. Supreme Court, the president has nominated a Black woman to serve as a justice on the highest court in the land. But this not just a milestone. In Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden has nominated a woman of incredible caliber and legal acumen. Judge Jackson has already proven to this Senate how incredibly qualified she is. From her service as a public defender to her work on the Sentencing Commission to her record on the bench, she has proven her commitment to protecting the rights of all people, not just the wealthy and powerful. At times throughout our nation's history, the Constitution has been used to discriminate against both women and people of color. As we continue to form our more perfect union, we cannot underestimate the significance of entrusting a Black woman with the responsibility of safeguarding the Constitution for all Americans into the future. We look forward to a swift confirmation process so we can soon say the words 'Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.'" [Statement, 2/25/22]

Tristin Brown, Policy & Program Director, People's Parity Project: "We applaud President Biden for nominating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be our next justice on the United States Supreme Court. This is truly a remarkable and exciting moment in our nation's history. For far too long, Black women have been expected to labor in the shadows and to rarely expect any recognition or reward for our contributions to keeping American democracy alive — particularly as it hangs on its last thread. President Biden's promise to put a Black woman on the Supreme Court and today's fulfillment of that pledge with the nomination of Judge Jackson is a long overdue moment that puts Black women front and center — where we've always belonged. With a bench that is oversaturated with former corporate attorneys and prosecutors and a court that is increasingly hostile to basic civil and human rights, Judge Jackson brings a much needed public interest background and perspective to the Court. For context, the last person on the Court with experience representing criminal defendants was Justice Thurgood Marshall, who retired in 1991. As a former public defender, Judge Jackson can hear arguments and apply the law through a lens that considers the implications and consequences for everyday people — a lens that is often missing throughout our federal judiciary. She is a brilliant jurist who is eminently qualified to assume this seat." [Statement, 2/25/22]

Joseph R. Biden, WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Progressive Organizations Applaud Supreme Court Nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/354639

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