Today, the United States Senate voted to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the newest United States Supreme Court Justice. For the first time in our nation’s history, a Black woman will number among those seated in the highest court in the land.
As an organization rooted in the civil rights and children’s rights movements and representing the most diverse generation of young people in American history, the Children’s Defense Fund invites you to join us in celebrating this momentous occasion. Today, a barrier has been broken, a “first” has been realized.
This is a day for Black joy.
Judge Jackson’s historic—and long overdue—confirmation as the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court will have ripple effects for Black women, youth, and girls around the nation. We must never underestimate the power of representation. Tomorrow, Black women and girls will wake up in a world different than they did yesterday.
Judge Jackson has made more than 600 rulings in her career. She has worked to reform mandatory minimum sentencing laws and reduce sentencing disparities for drug-related offenses, which disproportionately harm Black women. And as assistant special counsel and later vice chair of the Sentencing Commission, Judge Jackson worked on bipartisan reforms to the federal sentencing guidelines that disproportionately harm Black and brown people, children, and families. These experiences have the power to greatly influence our law and how decisions are made for generations to come.
The broad implications of Judge Jackson’s confirmation—for our democracy and the advancement of child well-being—cannot be overstated. Both depend on protection, fairness, and upholding laws that promote racial equity and justice so our children and youth can thrive. The present and future of a democracy requires that the well-being of Black and brown children be prioritized, from health and healing to diversion from the prison system and the care for those who are differently abled. Marginalized children deserve to live in a world that is free from discrimination in all its forms.
And today, a judge with a record of working to end that discrimination became a Supreme Court Justice.
Judge Jackson reflects the best of our nation. On behalf of America’s 73 million children and youth under the age of 18 and 30 million young adults under the age of 25: celebrate.