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Brooklyn officials praise Justice Brown Jackson confirmation

April 7, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Brooklyn officials, New York-area legal organizations and others yesterday praised the Senate confirmation of Hon. Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black female U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Cheers rang out in the U.S. Senate chamber as Jackson, a 51 year-old appeals court judge with nine years’ experience on the federal bench, was confirmed 53-47, mostly along party lines but with three Republican votes. Presiding and emotionally announcing the vote was Vice President Kamala Harris, also the first Black woman to reach her high office.

Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, also an assemblymember whose district includes Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush and part of Midwood, said of Justice Jackson:

“She is sure to not only be a force on the bench, but an inspiration to young Black women who at long last see a reflection of themselves on the nation’s highest court. Judge Jackson’s confirmation is the fulfillment of the hopes and dreams of every preceding generation. 

“We owe this historic moment to President Biden, who deserves full credit for delivering on his promise to put a Black woman on the bench, and to the three senators who broke rank with their party in an act of courage,” she added.

President Joe Biden holds hands with Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as they watch the Senate vote on her confirmation from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 7, 2022. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, whose Brooklyn district stretches from Williamsburg to Flatlands, said, “It was an honor to be present on the Senate floor for the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court. Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, Shirley Chisholm and the ancestors are smiling down from heaven.”

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a former Brooklyn councilmember, said, “This moment will reverberate across our country as young women, and especially young Black women like my two daughters, see the first Black woman on the Supreme Court and feel the importance of her place in history as well as the impact of her place on the bench.”

However, Williams also criticized Republican senators who, he said, “unleashed their anger, resentment, and bitterness over Justice Kavanaugh’s hearings on Justice Jackson [and] attempted to malign her unblemished record with outright lies.”

A statement from the Metropolitan Black Bar Association read, “Despite systemic setbacks, Black men and women have advocated for us in an unyielding quest to secure justice. The appointment of Justice Brown Jackson is an example of this leadership in the nation’s highest court … Justice Brown Jackson is a realization of the foundation set by Constance Baker Motley, the first Black female judge for the Southern District of New York.”

The Brooklyn-based Shirley Chisholm Cultural Institute tweeted a Brooklyn artist’s rendering of Justice Brown Jackson.

And U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said, “Throughout her confirmation process, Justice Jackson exhibited the steady temperament, legal expertise and dedication to equal justice that our nation needs on the Supreme Court.”

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