Supreme Court justice breaks glass ceiling, makes ‘herstory’

The nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Kentaji Brown Jackson makes her the first female African-American to sit on the highest bench.


The nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Kentaji Brown Jackson makes her the first female African-American to sit on the highest bench.

Manel Cedeno, Staff Writer

On April 7,  Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn into office to serve on the US Supreme Court. Jackson is the first African-American female Supreme Court justice and the 116th Associate Justice to sit on the bench. Her term just began, however, on October 3.

Jackson is replacing Stephen Breyer who retired ending his 28 year career serving the Supreme Court.  Jackson was elected by President Biden and approved when the Senate voted 53 to 47 in her favor. 

“I think it is important for people like Ketanji Brown Jackson to be elected,” voiced junior Ijeoma Nwankwo.  “Major bills and laws are being passed through a diverse group of people who have had different life experiences and can work together to provide different perspectives and ideas on where this country is heading.” 

Jackson, who is 51-years-old,  was born in Washington, D.C. but  was raised in Miami.  Coming  from a family that was well versed in politics, her father was a lawyer and her mother was a school administrator. 

She received a BA magna cum laude in Government from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1992, and then graduated in 1996 from Harvard University with honors, receiving  a doctorate in law.  She also  served as a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review

Justice Jackson has worked in many private firms and has held  numerous, prestigious titles, building a reputation for herself. In 2012, former President Barack Obama nominated her to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, where she served from 2013 to 2021.  President Biden then appointed her to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2021 and then nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 2022. 

After professing to  being nervous about entering a position of such stature, she declared in the words of famed-poet Maya Angelou,  “I do so now while bringing the gifts my ancestors gave. I am the dream and the hope of the slave.”

“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States,” noted Jackson in a Whitehouse celebration. “But we’ve made it. We’ve made it. All of us.”

Junior Haneen Assaf also has hope for Jackson.

“She can inspire younger generations by making them realize how women of color can also make it to high positions of power,” Assaf explained. “This can be seen as a way to encourage young women of color to put their all and create more representation for different groups.”

Jackson has experienced some difficulties during her confirmation.  She has faced accusations and comments from others on her political stance, and she has 

According to The New York Times, Senate Republicans tried to disqualify Justice Jackson with accusations of leniency toward child sexual abusers and divisive questions designed to ignite culture war debates, including how she would define the word “woman.”

Jackson stated she will “administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me,” swearing a judicial oath under the Constitution and laws of the United States.

“People like Justice Jackson should inspire all of us,” noted African-American History teacher Mr. Wynn. “Her elevation to the Supreme Court shows us that it shouldn’t matter what race, sex, economic station that you come from in America as long as you do the work you can become anything you want and reach the highest positions in this country.  Justice Jackson is inspiration.”