Kentanji Brown Jackson Nominated for Judge in the Supreme Court

Kentanji Jackson gives a speech after being Nominated by President Biden

Kentanji Jackson gives a speech after being Nominated by President Biden

By Lilibeth Arriaga and Jieun Paik

On February 5, history was made when President Joe Biden nominated Kentanji Brown Jackson to become the Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. If she is confirmed, she would be the very first Black woman to serve as a Justice ever. As a double graduate from Harvard, her credentials are nothing short of impressive.

Jackson has previously served as a United States District Judge from 2013 until 2021. She has also served as Vice Chair and Commissioner on the United States Sentencing Commission.  

Biden, who nominated Jackson for the position, has nominated many other judges with underrepresented backgrounds– such as public defenders, civil rights lawyers, or other attorneys with similar backgrounds. Jackson would be the very first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court. Throughout her career, she represented many low-income criminal defendants, and has significant experience in federal sentencing policies. Her confirmation would not only be an important historical achievement, but it would also be the gateway for a more diverse Supreme Court.

“I think that her nomination is really cool, because she’s the first Black woman,” said sophomore Andrew Le.

Andrew Le supports Kentanji Jackson’s nomination

However, contrary to Biden’s nomination, there seems to be a lot of criticisms levied against Jackson. Tucker Carlson, host of the Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News, was one of the more vocal opposers of her nomination. He asked to see Jackson’s Law School Admission Test (LSAT). However, many pointed out how he never asked for any other nominee’s scores. Especially in a political climate rife with tensions about race and gender, Carlson’s accusations of her incompetency come off particularly insensitive.

“Tucker Carlson had never requested LSAT scores for any other nominated Justice in the past, but for some reason Jackson is requested to do so. Is it a coincidence that she is also the first Black woman on the Supreme Court? The LSAT doesn’t even give proper indication of her qualifications,” said junior Harman Kohli. 

Members of the GOP also criticized Jackson’s background. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in particular brought up her role as a public defender, and questioned her ability to judge more difficult, decisive issues plaguing the Supreme Court. Jackson has been called “a radical,” though her rulings seemed to follow the mainstream legal thought. 

Many Americans are not sure whether Jackson will end up making a difference in the Supreme court as the first Black woman. With many discrimination arising, Jackson has to prove herself to many people. Although many people might disagree with Biden’s decision of nominating Jackson as Judge of the Supreme Court, Jackson seeks for a fair Justice system and how that might affect Americans. 

“I think it is inspirational for the future generations of African Americans [To have a Judge nominated in the Supreme Court],” said senior Amy Guo .

Jackson’s questioning is set to begin March 21. In the following days, she will be faced with rigorous questioning from senators. Though her identity as a Black woman poses a difficult obstacle, many people continue to cheer her on as a beacon of hope for the future of the Supreme Court.