Tag Archives: Ketanji Brown Jackson

Historic confirmation of first Black woman to Supreme Court brings hope and inspiration for Black women and young girls 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The history-making confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court offers a moment filled with hope and excitement for Black girls and young women, experts say. In a 53-47 vote – with three Republicans joining Democrats – the Senate Thursday confirmed Judge Jackson, making her only the third black and sixth woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. 

President Joe Biden nominated Jackson on Feb. 5 to take the seat of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

“This is one of the most incredible historical moments for our nation and one of immense pride and joy for millions of Americans with the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.  

“African American women have been at the forefront in facilitating and bringing positive change to our country for centuries.  The true significance of this confirmation cannot be overstated.  Now, an African American woman with impeccable credentials, a brilliant legal mind with the utmost character and integrity, will serve on the highest court in our nation. It is long overdue, but the day has come.” 

President Glover, who also serves as vice chair of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), commended President Bidden “for staying the course and keeping his commitment to our community and Black women with his nomination and now confirmation of Judge Brown.” 

Kennedy Booker, a junior political science major from Detroit, said Judge Jackson’s confirmation provides a fresh face for the Supreme Court, and her previous judicial and governmental experience creates the diversity needed at the federal court level. 

“Justice Jackson represents the kind of change our federal courts need,” Booker said. “She will forever be an asset and trailblazer for those that come after her.” 

Fellow political science major Anissia Fleming, a sophomore from Franklin, Tennessee, said Judge Jackson will be a “representation of the change taking place in the country.”

“As a symbol, Judge Jackson represents moving past the stereotypes that have to do with race and gender,” Fleming added. “As an individual, she is more than qualified for the job. She will provide exactly the type of representation this country needs as a role model and as a source of inspiration in the Supreme Court for so many in this country.” 

Dr. Shameka Nicole Cathey, assistant professor of political science at TSU, said the historic confirmation of Judge Jackson is “symbolic of the ongoing strive of Black women in our country.” 

“Having Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson included in the U.S. Supreme Court offers a particular significance in relations to diversity and representation,” Cathey said.  “Beyond her personal background, she brings a plethora of professional experiences that not only qualifies her for this moment but gives her the ability to own this moment. Her very presence on the High Court will push the framework of public policy in our country.”

Since 1790, there have been 115 Supreme Court justices. The confirmation of Jackson for the first time in history seats four women and two Black justices on the High Court. Judge Clarence Thomas is the current seated African American Justice. 

TSU’s Women’s Studies in the College of Liberal Arts focuses on the groundbreaking achievements of women and the impact on our global community. For more information, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/cla/programs/womensstudies.aspx

‘Long overdue,’ TSU weighs in on nomination of first Black woman to nation’s highest court

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When President Joe Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court, for many it was more than just keeping a campaign promise. The historic move, in the eyes of civil rights groups and women’s organizations, is viewed as “long overdue.” 

President Glenda Glover

Biden nominated Jackson on Feb. 25. If confirmed, she would not only be the first African-American woman, but also the third Black justice and sixth woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. 

Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover, who also serves as vice chair of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), explains the nomination has been a longtime coming considering the contributions of Black women to the success of the country and their influence on the judicial system in general. 

“It was 55 years ago in 1967 that Justice Thurgood Marshall — the first African American — was appointed to the nation’s high court and 40 years ago in 1981 when Justice Sandra Day O’Connor — the first woman ― was appointed to the Supreme Court.  Rather than a long time coming, for many, this appointment is a long time overdue,” says Dr. Glover.

Brianna Lang

“There are countless Black women in the legal field who have distinguished themselves as brilliant jurists, fierce advocates, and venerable legal scholars who have made tremendous sacrifices to shape the laws of the land and help secure justice for all.”

Junior Brianna Lang is a political science major at Tennessee State University. The Atlanta native says she’s looking forward to seeing someone on the Supreme Court who looks like her.

“Since I was a kid, I have been interested in becoming a lawyer, or a judge,” says Lang. “So, seeing someone who looks like me, doing something that I want to do, just lets me know to keep going and stay motivated. And that anything is possible.”

Tiara Thomas

Tiara Thomas, a senior majoring in political science from Olive Branch, Mississippi, says she’s glad to see the Biden administration continue the cycle of “breaking glass ceilings,” referring to Vice President Kamala Harris as the first Black woman to hold that position in the White House.

“The appointment of the first African American woman as a Supreme Court justice will be a great step toward placing public trust back into our judicial system,” says Thomas, who serves as the student trustee on TSU’s Board of Trustees. “Little girls everywhere will see her and dream, one day, to be her.“

Since 1790, there have been 115 Supreme Court justices. The confirmation of Jackson would also for the first time in history seat four women and two Black justices on the High Court. Judge Clarence Thomas is the current seated African American judge.

Dr. Samantha Morgan-Curtis

Dr. Samantha Morgan-Curtis, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts at TSU and a Women’s Studies faculty member, says she’s also looking forward to the inspiration Jackson will provide young people aspiring to go into the legal or judicial field.

“I have had the privilege of working with many TSU students who have gone on to become successful attorneys,” says Morgan-Curtis. “I am eagerly awaiting the first one to become a judge. If confirmed, Judge Jackson opens up for all of those women in college to dream of even greater possibilities.”

TSU History Professor Learotha Williams says Jackson’s nomination helps to rectify a history of Black women being overlooked for positions for which they are qualified.

Dr. Learotha Williams

“These ladies have to be fearless because they’re working within a framework that’s still in many regards racist and sexist,” says Dr. Williams. “For their whole existence, Black women have been judged. Laws have been made that impacted them. But they’ve never been at the top where they could interpret the laws. Judge Jackson may soon change that.”  

Jackson is expected to be confirmed before the Senate recesses in April, and she could be sworn in by early July. She would replace the retiring liberal Justice Stephen Breyer. The Supreme Court currently has a 6-3 conservative majority. 

For information about Women’s Studies in TSU’s College of Liberal Arts, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/cla/programs/womensstudies.aspx.

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Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.