Notorious KBJ adds justice to America’s highest court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 8, 2022, celebrating the confirmation of Jackson as the first Black woman to reach the Supreme Court.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 8, 2022, celebrating the confirmation of Jackson as the first Black woman to reach the Supreme Court.
Associated Press/Andrew Harnik

History was made in America on April 7.

“I strongly believe that this is a moment in which all Americans can take great pride,” trailblazer Judge Ketanji Brown-Jackson said on that date.

“We have come a long way toward perfecting our union,” the newly confirmed justice to the Supreme Court added.

From the White House lawn, the 51-year-old jurist issued her perspective on the historic confirmation which will allow her to sit on America’s highest judicial bench saying:

“In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.”

She will join the nine-member body to decide law in America from the highest seat of the law.

“The path was cleared for me so that I might rise to this occasion. And in the poetic words of Dr. Maya Angelou, I do so now while ‘bringing the gifts my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave,’” Justice Jackson added.

Soon after her confirmation, tee-shirts surfaced crowning Notorius KBJ with the title given her predecessor Ruth Bader Ginsburg who was hailed Notorius RBG in parody of Brooklyn achieving, rapper the Notorious BIG.

KBJ shattered the glass ceiling at the Supreme Court, raised the roof for Black females in America and floored a space in history as a trailblazer for sex and gender advancement.

In the eyes of many, her nomination signals aspirations of hope and change for America similar to that effected in 2008 when Harvard Law School graduate Barack Obama was elected the first Black president.

His campaign emphasized “Yes We Can” a mantra that promoted optimism for the unlikeliest of citizens.

The irony is that Harvard Law School graduate KBJ was nominated by President Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden and was confirmed winner by the now commander-in-chief and president’s, Vice President Kamala Harris, the first of her race and gender to serve at the White House.

The historic significance could also be regarded with poetic justice considering the fact the former vice president/current president fulfilled a major campaign promise which inks double victory with the unprecedented announcement from a Black female vice president confirming the nomination of the first Black, female Supreme Court Justice.

Biden’s triumph, not only unprecedented in the history of America but despite cult-like Republican resistance, persevered ensuring Judge KBJ not being denied justice and a seat on America’s highest bench.

She was voted 53-47 by every Democrat in the House of Representatives and three fair-minded Republicans who believed that after 233 years, a Black woman deserved a place there and that KBJ qualified to make history.

Only five women — Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett — have served on the Supreme Court.

Black men have only been appointed twice — Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas.

“Judge Jackson’s confirmation was a historic moment for our nation,” Pres. Biden said in a tweet.

“We’ve taken another step toward making our highest court reflect the diversity of America. She will be an incredible Justice, and I was honored to share this moment with her.”

Republican debate about her qualifications parodied a circus side-show focusing on irrelevant questions which she dignified with polite courtesy, patience and tolerance.

As to the queries, this column will not indulge with repetitious rhetoric only to mention an insidious Rev. Jeremiah Wright moment similar to the relentless demand Obama faced to dismiss a relationship he shared with his pastor.

History will record South Carolina’s Sen. Lindsey Graham who was antagonistic when attempting to vilify KBJ asked if the Black woman before supported the philosophies of Professor Leonard Jeffries.

To the clueless, Dr. Jeffries was a scholar who lectured in the Black Studies Department at CUNY City College. This columnist was privileged to attend many of his lectures in Harlem and also travelled with him to Ghana, Africa’s gold coast and Egypt, the land of the Pharoahs.

The teachings of Dr. Jeffries enlightened students deprived of knowledge often white-washed in schools. His curricular provided clarity, cultural relevance and unrivaled lessons seniors wait-listed to matriculate.

Perhaps the southern senator would take exception to that kind of education. His disdain manifested with bigotry for national exhibition when he grilled the potential Supreme candidate who ultimately defeated his scourge.

His behavior might have swayed three Republican colleagues — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Utah’s Mitt Romney — to part company with cultish partisan politics by joining forces with Dems endorsing the appointment of the very first Black female on the Supreme Court.

Their decision to defect could also rest with the exemplary qualifications of the appeals court judge whose nine years of experience on the federal bench surpasses those of Justices appointed during the previous presidential administration.

Comparably, her reputation is above reproach.

On September 20, 2012, Obama nominated Jackson to serve as a judge for the US District Court of Columbia to the seat vacated by retiring Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr.

How she defined “woman” without submitting to Graham’s absurd quest to humiliate or create controversy in and out of the LGBTQ community should now be an example for all future students.

She ignored the test yielding to silence which spoke volumes in defining “woman.”

The focus on her sentencing record gleaned little about her capacity to judge but also revealed to the nation the meaning of partisan “man.”

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