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Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Makes History with Supreme Court Nomination

On February 25, President Joe Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the 116th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Jackson makes history as being the first female African American Supreme Court nominee, and if confirmed she will become the first African American woman on the Supreme Court. She is extensively qualified— and according to the Washington Post, has more experience than many of the current sitting justices. Her confirmation would make her the only sitting justice to have served as a public defender, and the only justice with U.S. Sentencing Committee experience (current Justice Breyer is the only other justice to have experience on the committee but is retiring).

Despite a multitude of qualifications, Jackson faced an onslaught of attacks from Senate Republicans during her confirmation hearings that began on March 22. A handful of Republican senators, particularly Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), continuously attacked Jackson throughout the hearings. Some of the most extensive (and inaccurate) attacks included condemnation of the school her children attend, claims that she is a proponent of "critical race theory," and accusations that she works to protect child pornographers and predators.

Though these attacks will probably not prevent Jackson's confirmation, Republican senators continually brought up controversial topics that would get attention from their conservative supporters— such as the QAnon conspiracy theories that Democrats support child sex trafficking, antiracism education, and attempts to get Jackson to define "woman" in a discussion of transgender people participating in sports.

While Jackson faced questions and accusations that appeared to be politically motivated, as well as attacks on her character, she maintained her composure throughout the hearings. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) called Jackson his "star" and "harbinger of hope." Jackson also has some Republican support, with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) stating her intent to vote to confirm Jackson.

It is expected that the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Jackson's nomination on April 4.

Katie Hunter

Oglethorpe '22

Katie is a junior majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Urban Leadership. She is the President and Co-Campus Correspondent for Her Campus at Oglethorpe. She likes to stay busy at Oglethorpe as a member of the women's tennis team, a member of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, and as a research assistant studying public relations and non-profits. In her free time, you’ll probably find her drinking iced coffee and watching reality TV.
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