who is Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first black woman appointed to the Supreme Court?

It is a “historic day”, greeted Joe Biden, the president of the United States. After four days of hearings, the Senate confirmed the appointment as Supreme Court Justice of Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first African-American magistrate to enter the temple of American law, one of whose missions is to settle the important civic debates in the country, such as abortion or same-sex marriage.

This nomination was greeted with a standing ovation from the Democrats in the House. she was too praised by Michelle Obama, but also by Martin Luther King III, the son of the civil rights icon, or the charismatic Stacey Abrams, black candidate for governor of Georgia. Back to a flawless career.

The daughter of a Florida-born teacher

Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, spent her entire childhood in Miami, Florida, with a family of public teachers. His mother, Ellery Brown, was public education director and her father, Johnny Brown, earned a law degree after returning to school.

Through “proud of their heritage” and “hope for the future”his parents gave him an African name, Ketanji Onyika, which means: “the charming”, she told Congress at the hearing to become a Supreme Court justice on March 21. Unlike them, who? “personally experienced segregation”she underlined her “opportunity” to be born after the great civil rights struggle of the 1960s, which overturned many racist laws in the southern states of the country.

brilliant student, Ketanji Brown Jackson distinguished himself in eloquence competitions and graduated from Harvard Law School. It was during this time that she met her future husband, Patrick G. Jackson, then a medical student. “He is the best husband, father and friend I can imagine”she said.

Married in 1996, Ketanji Brown Jackson and her husband had two daughters: Talia, 21, and Leïla, 17. Both were present during the affirmative interrogation of their mother, who spoke to them. “Girls, I know it hasn’t been easy, because I’ve tried to deal with the challenges of juggling my career and my motherhood. And I fully admit that I haven’t always found the right balance. But I hope that you have seen that with hard work, determination and love, it can be done.” reports CNN (in English)

A court-appointed attorney before becoming a federal judge

After completing his studies, Ketanji Brown Jackson shares experiences in the private sector, in law firms and in public, in particular with the Sentencing Commission, an independent agency responsible for the harmonization of criminal justice policy in the United States. During her career as a lawyer, she was called upon to defend defendants who could not afford their own attorney by being assigned to the Washington Legal Aid Department.

“Anyone accused by the government of criminal conduct, regardless of wealth and the nature of the charges, has the right to the assistance of a lawyer.”

Ketanji Brown Jackson

during his Senate hearing

She also explained that she was struck by their ignorance of the law and that once she became a judge, she… “Good care” to explain his decisions to the convicts so that they understand the seriousness of their actions and the sanction imposed.

In 2013, his career took a new turn. Democratic President Barack Obama appoints her as a federal judge in Washington. Over the next eight years, she made dozens of decisions. In 2019 this isShe dismisses President Donald Trump, who is trying to prevent Congress from summoning one of his advisers in the event of a suspected collusion between Moscow and the future president’s 2016 campaign team. “The most important lesson we can learn from the last 250 years of American history is that presidents are not kings,” he said. did she write?year a long text (PDF in English).

A candidate backed by Joe Biden and elected Democrats

His nomination was a campaign promise from Joe Biden. Therefore, once elected in 2021, he will appoint Ketanji Brown Jackson to the influential Washington Federal Court of Appeals, which is considered a springboard for the Supreme Court. And when progressive judge Stephen Breyer, 83, announces his decision to leave the Supreme Court in January, it makes sense that Joe Biden would choose Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace him. She was his assistant at the start of his career in 1990-2000.

All elected members of the Democratic Party and three moderate Republican senators, Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, voted to bring this veteran attorney to the US temple of the law. “You’re here because you deserve it” and “Nobody will steal my joy!” launched black Senator Cory Booker during the hearing, in a flight that tore a tear from the magistrate. In 233 years of existence, the country’s highest judicial institution has never had experience with it only five women, four white and one Hispanic, and two black men, one of whom, Clarence Thomas, was appointed by George Bush Sr. and still sits.

During his hearing in Congress, Ketanji Brown Jackson took on the role of “fashion model” for “little girls across the country” and hopes his Supreme Court nomination will increase “to trust” African Americans in the legal system. During her previous confirmation process, she had already sworn to keep herself out of her work as a judge. “his personal opinion and any other improper consideration”, including skin color. But “Maybe I have a different life experience than my colleagues”she added. “And I hope it can be of interest.”

A judge who provoked opposition from Republicans

Yes Ketanji Brown Jackson was quite a popular candidate with public opinion, she faced attacks from Republican senators during her hearing. The elected Republicans criticized the magistrate’s balance sheet for presenting it as a “militant judge” soft with crime”, lift him up Guardian (article in English)Several have accused her of having imposed too light sentences in several cases of child pornography, the Washington Post (article in English). Republican Senator from Tennessee Marsha Blackburn also pointed out the seat occupied by the magistrate on the board of directors of a school that: “urgent anti-racist education program for white families”reports the New York Times (paid item).

Although the appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson memorable, it does not change the political makeup of the Supreme Court, which remains one of the most conservative in recent decades. The power transfer between Stephen Breyer and Ketanji Brown Jackson must take place on June 30.

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