On Monday, April 4, the 54th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Once it is voted out of Committee, the full Senate will then vote on her historic nomination.
In advance of the Senate Judiciary Committee vote, the current President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) Janai S. Nelson, joined by LDF’s three living former President and Directors-Counsel – Elaine Jones, Ted Shaw, and Sherrilyn Ifill – issued the following statement:
“As evidenced by extensive reviews of her record and her responses during her four-day confirmation hearing, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is exceptionally qualified and has the temperament needed to serve as the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. She possesses decades of diverse experience as an attorney, a federal judge, a public defender, and a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. This combination is unmatched on the current Supreme Court and will bring to the Court a much-needed perspective on the lives and experiences of the most vulnerable members of our society.
“Despite this reality, Judge Jackson has faced an all-too-familiar wave of accusations from opponents, namely the creation of false narratives and attacks on her character for the purpose of scoring political points and damaging her excellent reputation. It is a well-worn playbook with the same tactics used against other trailblazing Black jurists, including LDF founder Thurgood Marshall, who became the nation’s first Black Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and former LDF attorney Constance Baker Motley, a lead strategist on the seminal Brown v. Board of Education litigation who won nine of the 10 cases she argued in the Supreme Court before she became the first Black woman to serve as a federal judge.
“In the end, both Justice Marshall and Judge Motley received bipartisan confirmations to the bench – their experience and qualifications winning the day. Similarly, Judge Jackson deserves robust bipartisan support from members of both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate. She received bipartisan support all three times that she has previously come before the Committee, including less than a year ago when she was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
“The Senate has both the opportunity and obligation to discharge its constitutional duty to ‘advise and consent’ on this historic nomination. We hope all members of that body will honor that paramount responsibility and support this talented and well-qualified nominee.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.