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Brooklyn Bar Association praises confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

April 11, 2022 Robert Abruzzese, Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Ketanji Brown Jackson made history last week when she was officially confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the Supreme Court, and the significance of that confirmation has not been lost on the local legal community.

“The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association congratulates Ketanji Brown Jackson on her confirmation to the United States Supreme Court,” said BWBA president Madeline Kirton. “Her confirmation not only symbolizes a historic day for women, but also marks a victory for all who value diversity, inclusion and excellence.”

The Brooklyn Bar Association put together a statement with the help of President Armena Gayle and Joy Thompson, chair of the BBA’s Diversity Committee.

“The Brooklyn Bar Association (BBA) welcomes the news that the U.S. Senate has confirmed the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court – making her the first African American woman to sit on that esteemed bench,” said the statement.

“The BBA also acknowledges that her path to confirmation was challenging,” the statement continued. “Despite her impeccable qualifications, including graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University, graduating cum laude from Harvard Law School, clerking for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, and being confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the vice chair of United States Sentencing Commission, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, some tried to dismiss the judge and her record as politically tainted and, thus, unacceptable.”

The statement goes on to call out the two days of questioning that Brown Jackson received from the Senate Judiciary Committee including some irrelevant questions.

“As an extraordinary member of the judiciary, Justice Brown Jackson drew upon her impeccable judicial competence and temperament to advance through brutal and nonsensical questions and commentary having no relevance or direct correlation to the tasks required of her to serve on the nation’s highest court.  The mean-spirited charade that was designed to serve as an impediment to her confirmation only showcased and highlighted to the American people why her selection to the United States Supreme Court is the correct and sound choice.

“Her rise to the Supreme Court is long overdue and well deserved. In a rare and moving speech by United States Senator Corey Booker, he echoed the sentiments of so many who supported Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s ascension to the United States Supreme Court by stating to Justice Brown Jackson, ‘You have earned this spot. You are worthy. You are a great American.’”

President Gayle and Thompson were not the only ones who took note of her judicial demeanor during hearings. Anthony Vaughn, Jr., president of the Nathan R. Sobel Inns of Court, called her a role model.

“On behalf of the Nathan R. Sobel Kings County Inn of Court, we congratulate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on her confirmation to the United States Supreme Court,” Vaughn said. “Justice Brown Jackson is a role model for everyone as she demonstrated her ability to handle adversity with poise, grace and intelligence.  Without a doubt, Justice Brown Jackson will have a positive impact on the court.”

Celebrating a historical Brooklyn first

Hon. Lillian Wan was the first Asian American judge to be elected to the Supreme Court in Brooklyn.
Photo courtesy of Hon. Lillian Wan

On the same day when Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed, a local judge also made history of her own. Hon. Lillian Wan was officially inducted as a Kings County Supreme Court judge during a ceremony at Park Asia on Thursday night.

Justice Wan, president of the Asian American Judges Association, was the first Asian American judge to be elected to the Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

If you have not heard of the Asian American Judges Association, it is fairly new, but it will be hosting its first-ever, in-person event — an Asian American and Pacific Islander Celebration that will be held on May 17 at Stout in Manhattan. The group will honor Judge Toko Serita, who presides over the Queens Human Trafficking Intervention Court. The event will also feature a keynote speech by Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks.

Announcing the Lynn Terrelonge Awardees

The process of creating a new award began in November when the BBA’s Diversity Committee wanted to establish a “Bridge to Diversity” award. By January, the association decided to name the award instead after past president Lynn Terrelonge, its first Black president.

After some back and forth about the best time to present the award it was decided that it would be most appropriately given out at the annual dinner in December. Finally, the honorees are ready to be announced.

The inaugural recipients of the Lynn Terrelonge Award will be Hon. Raja Rajeswari, Acting Supreme Court justice and chair of the NYS Unified Court System Advisory Committee on Language Access; Charles A. Small, Esq., chief clerk for civil matters, Civil Term, Kings Supreme Court, and Hon. Carolyn Walker-Diallo, administrative judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York.

The award is meant to recognize individuals or organizations in Brooklyn who have made a positive impact by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession and/or the community at large. The BBA’s annual dinner will be held in December 2022.

Hon. Raja Rajeswari, Charles Small, and Hon. Carolyn Walker-Diallo (pictured) will be the inaugural recipients of the Lynn Terrelonge Memorial Award.
Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese

Women’s Bar will elect new slate including President Susan Mauro

Susan Mauro is expected to be elected as the new president of the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association during its annual meeting this week.
Photo courtesy of BWBA

The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association will host its annual meeting via video conference on April 13, 2022 at 5:00 p.m., where it will hold an election for its new officers and directors including Susan Mauro, who is expected to be the group’s next president.

Mauro is active in the local legal community and is a regular at BWBA events as well as Columbian Lawyers Association events. She formerly worked at Abrams Fensterman, but is currently a partner at Ahmuty Demers & McManus. A graduate of New York Law School and St. John’s University, Mauro is a litigator whose practice focuses on complex insurance defense litigation and commercial litigation.

Other officers expected to be elected on Wednesday include Jovia Radix as the president-elect; Angelicque Moreno, Danielle Ciraola and Catherine Gonzalez as vice presidents; Raquel Miranda as the treasurer; Lauren Arnel as the recording secretary, and Victoria Serigano as the corresponding secretary.

To vote in the election, you have to be a BWBA member in good standing.

Join us for the 150th Anniversary Dinner

The Brooklyn Bar Association is celebrating its 150th Anniversary with a special dinner at El Caribe in Mill Basin on Thursday, June 2. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available online at www.BrooklynBar.org.

Robert Abruzzese is the former Legal Editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and the current Director of Member Services at the Brooklyn Bar Association. Now as a legal columnist for the Eagle, Abruzzese writes about the BBA and the local legal community. For information about joining the Brooklyn Bar Association, you can reach him via email at [email protected].


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