Judge Ketanji Brown will bring moral clarity to Jackson Scotus

There is no doubt that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit is a great choice for the Supreme Court. He is highly credible, has an exceptional legal mind and has already been confirmed three times on bipartisan votes in the Senate.

DC insiders say with confidence that he will be confirmed. But what is often missing in traditional horse racing political coverage of this nomination is something that I find far more compelling: When Judge Jackson is confirmed as a U.S. Supreme Court judge, she appears on the court in a bright light. Will bring moral clarity which will give him space. Firmly within the tradition of icons such as Justice Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

As a longtime civil rights advocate, I am grateful that Judge Jackson will bring a special range of experiences and perspectives that have not previously been represented in judges’ chambers. Some like to pretend that justice is a cold science of applying logic to law, a simple calling of balls and strikes. But justice is always based on lived experience and historical context, as demonstrated by Justices Marshall and Ginsburg.

Marshall’s moral clarity about the inevitable wrongness of racial discrimination changed the nation. As a lawyer, he challenged the constitutionality of segregation and defended black people whose lives were threatened by injustice in the justice system. on the court he disagree more than 150 times When his fellow judges refused to hear appeals for the death penalty.

Ginsburg brought the same kind of fierce moral clarity to her advocacy for full equality of women. As a justice, he passionately pointed out the flaws and deceit of the increasingly correct majority of the court. When the Court weakened protections against discrimination in the workplace, it told Congress it was up to them to fix it—and they did.

Judge Jackson’s life in public service is proof that he is guided by a moral guideline that points to the truth, to the dignity of all people, and to the Constitution’s promise of justice and equality for all.

She will be the first Supreme Court justice to serve as a public defender, and the first woman since Marshall to have experience as a criminal defense attorney. His personal experience is how the justice system deals with the powerless as well as the powerful.

He used that experience to make the system more perfect when he served as deputy chairman of the US Sentencing Commission. Black lives, families, and communities were being ravaged by laws that punished crack cocaine more harshly than powder cocaine. He worked to end that unfair treatment and its brutal human toll.

US Supreme Court nominee Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 22, 2022 in Washington, DC.
CHIP SOMODEVILA/GETTY IMAGES

Jackson’s humanitarian outlook and moral clarity also shine through in his work as a federal judge. She ruled in a case brought by a deaf man against the District of Columbia over her treatment in a DC prison. The man said he had been denied a sign language interpreter and could not understand what the officers told him, even when he was held in solitary confinement after being attacked by another inmate . He could not participate in mental health or substance abuse programs. When his partner and mother came to visit him, the officers handcuffed him, making it impossible for him to sign with them.

Judge Jackson held that the behavior violated the individual’s legal rights as well as his humanity. He held the officers responsible for the loss caused by their apathy and neglect.

As an exceptional graduate from Harvard and Harvard Law School, Jackson could easily have chosen a career that was geared toward the rich and powerful, the kind of career that could bring one both wealth and power.

Instead, early in his career, he chose to hire powerful lawyers to represent people facing times of acute vulnerability without the financial resources to do so. It gives him a perspective on the justice system which no other justice has brought before the bench.

Justices Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were both brilliant lawyers and judges. His principles and eloquence influenced our country and culture as well as his fellow justices. And while the Court’s majority acted in ways that undermined justice, their dissatisfaction with the vision gave history, and the rest of us, a path toward a moral center, to reclaim the “justice for all” constitution. A guidepost for

I am confident that Justice Jackson will follow in her footsteps – and she will forge her own path. This may cause fear and shudder among those who believe that power should be reserved for those who look or think like most of the people who have served as justices over the past 200-plus years. His lies and slander against Judge Jackson are troubling, but they won’t be enough to defeat him.

Jackson will be the first black woman to serve as a Supreme Court judge. It is an exciting historical landmark. As the son of a black woman and the father of a black daughter, I’m excited that he and other black women will see another powerful institution widening the door of opportunity a little. Progress like this bodes well for all Americans.

We need Justice Jackson’s experience, knowledge and moral clarity in our Supreme Court. If US senators do their job, we will soon celebrate their confirmation.

Ben is the president of Envy People for the American Way.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author.

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