The Judge Who Became a Justice

Earlier this month, Judge Ketanji Brown-Jackson was confirmed as the 116th Supreme Court judge. Her confirmation has set a historic record by being the first black woman in the top court. However, her appointment brings both joy and skepticism. 

Some individuals feel as though Jackson’s nomination and confirmation were rigid from the beginning. When on the topic of supreme court nominations, President Biden said that he would only nominate a “black woman.” As a result of this, some feel as though diversity is taking place over quality. When asked about this matter, AHS teacher Mrs. Houvouras said, “The reality is that Justice Jackson is more qualified for the position than any person currently or ever having been on the supreme court.”  She goes on to say, “Regardless of whether her gender or race was a requirement for President Biden, the reality is that he picked an individual that is overly qualified when you compare her to the rest of the people sitting on the bench.” 

One thing is for certain–Democrats are celebrating this historic victory. This victory might allow them to further push laws that would benefit their views. However, how much would this really affect their odds? “ Not much will change,” said Mr. Whitcomb. He goes on to say “Democrats can have their victories if they stay within the scope of the constitution. If they step beyond those bounds, it is the role of the supreme court to check their power. This is the beauty of our system. Having a judge that signs off on anything the President wants defeats the purpose of having judges.” This seems to be a common point whenever Democrats mention expanding the seats in the Supreme Court. People are led to believe that this gives Democrats the power to essentially create a “loop-hole” within the process. 

That being said, this trend of government officials promising to diversify the government if they’re elected can be seen as performative. “Ronald Reagan said he would nominate a woman if he won, and Donald Trump said he had a list of women he was choosing for an open seat,” said Mr. Whitcomb when asked to comment on President Biden saying that he would nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court. “I do think it’s disrespectful for Presidents to make those statements. Those women are more than just their gender and pieces to be moved on the President’s political chessboard.” This is often overlooked by the general public because of the need for diversity in the US government. The genuineness of political leaders has always been called into question, so on a topic like this, it’s not certain if Joe Biden wanted to only nominate a black woman to the Supreme court because he cares about that cause or if he only did it because he knew it would help secure votes from liberal voters. This was lightly discussed in the media when he decided to have his former rival, Kamala Harris, as his Vice President, making her the first female Vice President in American history.

Justice Jackson’s nominations help to make POC girls, particularly black ones, realize that ceilings are starting to be broken and that they truly can make it to the highest parts of our government through hard work and determination. Although her nomination did a lot of good, like all things in politics, there is always some controversy. All we can do now is wait and see what this new edition to the Supreme Court can do in her power to better our country.