Is Ketanji Brown Jackson the right choice to fill SCOTUS seat?


Fact Box

  • Ketanji Brown Jackson serves as a judge in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and previously worked as a federal judge on the District Court after nomination by President Barack Obama in 2013. 
  • On February 25, 2022, President Biden nominated Judge Jackson to the Supreme Court as the “first Black woman” to be nominated in that position. She will replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Breyer along the lines of his campaign promise. He stated, “The person I nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity - and that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It’s long overdue, in my view.” 
  • A February 2022 ABC/Ipsos poll found that 76% of Americans “want Biden to consider ‘all possible nominees,’ while 23% want him to deliver on his campaign pledge to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court.
  • Pew Research Center reported that 57 members in the House are Black while there are three Black persons in the Senate as of 2021.

Morgan (Yes)

When taking a look at Ketanji Brown Jackson's history and experience, it is obvious why President Biden nominated her, as her individual qualifications are evidence of her eligibility. In addition to having graduated from Harvard Law and having been an editor for the Harvard Law Review, Jackson is an attorney, has been a federal judge for nine years, and was appointed to the US court of appeals, by President Biden, in 2021—a position that creates many Supreme Court Justices

And Judge Jackson certainly contributed during her years as a judge—she has authored over 500 opinion papers. Jackson will serve this country through her qualifications and serve as an icon and a beacon of hope for all citizens, demonstrating that they have the power to do anything. In addition to being the first public defender in SCOTUS history, Judge Jackson will be the first Black woman. The SCOTUS needs to represent all citizens—to be an example of the broad range of identities that make up this country. 

To finally have a Black woman on the SCOTUS gives black women a voice and brings more equality to the court's representation of this nation. If Judge Jackson were not a Black woman, most people questioning her as Biden's nominee wouldn't have an issue. Her skin color and gender lead people to believe they have the knowledge and credibility to critique her nomination when it's a choice that wouldn't be up for debate if she were a white man or if Biden weren't the one who selected her.

Siam (No)

While Ketanji Brown Jackson has excellent academic credentials in law from Harvard and clerked for Justice Breyer, Biden only considered her because she was a Black female candidate, completely ignoring other races. A highly qualified Asian American, Sri Srinivasan, has already served in the Court of Appeals in the DC circuit and has exceptional qualifications and experience. He was liked by both parties for his independent views yet was ignored due to his race and sex. That is discrimination, expressly illegal in the workplace, per federal law

Member of SCOTUS must possess strong academic qualifications and constitutional ideology, which reflects the original thinking behind the laying down of America's founding principles and legal foundation. Unfortunately, this could be a major negative with Jackson, as being nominated by a liberal President, her constitutional interpretation is likely to reflect liberal activist priorities over upholding constitutional rights. 

Further, Jackson has little experience dealing with technical disputes that involve federal agencies as that is what DC federal courts deal with every day, and Jackson has not attended or heard many such hot button cases that dominate cases before SCOTUS. Despite being in law for several decades, Jackson has never dealt with difficult decisions like abortion, gun rights, or abortion-major topics with conflicting statutes.

Finally, the appointment for SCOTUS should not be based on race or gender but go to the individual who is the most qualified. Biden has picked a Black female as payback for the huge amount of dark money from the left-wing liberals who helped him win the election. In the end, this selection for SCOTUS in this manner sends a wrong message to the rest of Americans—that immutable characteristics are more important than experience and qualification.

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