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Senate Holds Confirmation Hearing For Ketanji Brown Jackson To Be Supreme Court Justice

Source: Kent Nishimura / Getty

Black women are showing up in droves to support Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, whose confirmation hearings are taking place this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. If Jackson is confirmed she will become the first Black woman to become a Supreme Court justice.

Black women have been seen rallying outside of the Supreme Court holding signs and banners that read “CONFIRM KBJ,” posters with beautiful illustrations of Jackson and yelling chants in support of her being confirmed. The rally was organized by the National Coalition Black Women’s Roundtable, She Will Rise and the National Women’s Law Center Action Fund.

“Someone who’s had the lived experiences she’s had is missing from that bench,” Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, told the HuffPost. “Someone who is not a prosecutor. Someone who has defended others as a public defender. She’s served all her life.”

If confirmed, Jackson will also be the first public defender to become a Supreme Court Justice as well. During her nearly 30-year career, Jackson has worked as a United States District Judge, an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the appeals division of the Office of the Federal Public Defender in the District of Columbia, an Assistant Special Counsel at the Sentencing Commission,  a law clerk for three federal judges, a Vice Chair and Commissioner on the United States Sentencing Commission and as an associate at two law firms.

Alice Fontier, managing director at Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, told the HuffPost that having a former federal public defender on the Supreme Court is essential because she has experience defending “the most vulnerable, who is charged with an offense by the most powerful — the United States government.”

“You cannot get the perspective unless you do it,” Fontier said. “She understands it. It’s not something that you can forget, because access to justice and the way that people are treated differently within the courts must be reckoned with. For her to bring that to this level is so needed.”

The National Coalition Black Women’s Roundtable is also calling for supporters to call their United States Senators for a National Call-In Day to ask that Judge Jackson have a fair confirmation process.

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