HRC celebrates first Black woman to be nominated to the nation’s highest court
Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released the following statement on President Biden’s historic nomination of D.C. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States. Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison issued the following statement.
“The Supreme Court and its Justices are tasked with the sacred responsibility of upholding the rights of all Americans. Throughout Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s career, where she was appointed to the U.S. Sentencing Commission and during her time on the federal bench, she has earned a reputation for integrity, professionalism, and unwavering commitment to the Constitution. Her tenure on the bench provides ample evidence that she is both prepared and trustworthy of this highest privilege, and responsibility, that comes with sitting on our highest court.
“The Supreme Court has historically played an outsized role in affirming the constitutional rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and other marginalized communities. After a careful review of her record, it is clear that Jackson’s demonstrated fidelity to the principles of our Constitution instills confidence that she will continue Justice Breyer’s legacy as a champion of equality. As such, the Human Rights Campaign is proud to support Jackson to be the newest Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. She is an extremely qualified candidate and her confirmation will mark significant progress towards ensuring that those who sit upon our highest court reflect the diversity of the nation whose laws they are entrusted to interpret.”
Jackson graduated from Harvard University and later attended Harvard Law School, where she was a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. She clerked for two federal judges (including Justice Breyer), worked in private practice, and served both on the United States Sentencing Commission and as a federal public defender in Washington, D.C. In 2013, the United States Senate confirmed her to serve as a judge on the U.S.District Court for the District of Columbia until she was again confirmed and elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2021. Now, she is the first Black woman to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, adding significant racial and gender diversity to our nation’s highest court.
The decisions made by the Supreme Court have established important legal precedents that impact the daily lives of all Americans. Over the past three decades, the LGBTQ+ community has benefited from several groundbreaking decisions from the Court, including Romer v. Evans, Lawrence v. Texas, U.S. v. Windsor, Obergefell v. Hodges which ushered in nationwide marriage equality, and Bostock v. Clayton County. During that same period, the Court also handed down a number of rulings that are deeply problematic for civil rights and the public interest, for example, curtailing reproductive freedom and voting rights, in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Shelby County v. Holder, respectively. Notably, many of these rulings – both positive and negative – were decided by razor-thin margins, highlighting the importance and magnitude of the responsibility handed to each individual justice.
The Human Rights Campaign looks forward to the Senate’s thorough examination of her judicial philosophy and record.
(c) 2022, Human Rights Campaign