Recently, the US Senate made the historic decision to include Ketanji Brown Jackson into the country's Supreme Court, With this, Jackson has become the first Black woman to become a judge in the apex court's 233-year-old history. The 51-year-old will replace Justice Stephen Breyer and take office in June this year. Interestingly, Jackson served as a clerk under Breyer.
The Senate confirmed her election with 53:47, where the Democrats openly showed support by highlighting her various accomplishments, whereas the Republicans were concerned with her work methodology. Only three members, namely Susan Collins, Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski, voted in Jackson's favour.
Fighting Against All Odds
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was born in Washington DC, but she spent the majority of her time in Miami. Belonging to an African-American family, her parents witnessed extreme racial bias as they attended colour segregated schools and predominantly black colleges. Jackson was inspired by her father, who went to law school when she was in preschool. She was enamoured by all its workings and used to sit with him when he worked on his cases.
As stated by the White House, Judge Jackson did extremely well in school. She became the student body president in the Miami Palmetto Senior High School and was brilliant in academics and co-curricular activities. Despite her achievements, she often faced discrimination because of her racial identity. Her counsellor dissuaded her when she expressed her desire to attend the prestigious Harvard University to study Law.
However, she stood undeterred and got admission into the institution. She passed with flying colours as she graduated 'Magna Cum Laude' from Harvard University, after which she attended Harvard Law School. 'Magna Cum Laude' refers to passing with distinction and is a term popularly used in American universities.
From A Public Defender To Supreme Court Judge
Initially, Judge Jackson served as a clerk for Justice Stephen Breyer, who she will succeed as a Supreme Court judge. Also, she worked as a public defender where she represented those who are not capable to pay for a lawyer, Not only is she the first Black female judge, but she is also the first former public defender to claim this position in the apex court.
Since then, Ketanji Brown Jackson's journey has been a remarkable one. President Joe Biden was ecstatic when she was elected. "It is time that we have a court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation with a nominee of extraordinary qualifications," Al Jazeera quotes the US President. Not only that, the majority leader in the US Senate called it a 'joyous day' that has started a new and delightful chapter in American legal history.