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April 8, 2022

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson: Why I do not support her confirmation to the Supreme Court

Many of you won’t get this far because you have already dismissed this opinion piece based on the title. Before I get into the meat of my opinion, I want to congratulate Judge Jackson on being confirmed to become the next Supreme Court Justice, when Justice Stephen Breyer retires. I pray she will not be an activist justice and will base her decisions on the rule of law, the Constitution and legal precedent. 

Established in 1789, the Supreme Court has had 5 female Justices. The first was Sandra Day O’Conner, nominated in 1981 and the most recent Justice is Amy Coney Barrett. Now we have the 6th female Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson. In contrast, the Court has had 2 black Justices in its 233-year history, and both were men.

When the president announced he would be nominating a black woman for the soon to be vacant Supreme Court seat, the need to vet her and intelligently discuss her court decisions went out the window. There is no other place in America where a person can make the declaration President Biden made. Even more problematic is once again, the color of one’s skin (and their gender) trumps the content of one’s character or accomplishments. For more of my thoughts on this topic, check out season1 episode 12 of my podcast, Changing the Narrative with Cecil Grant Jr.  The president made Ketanji’s accomplishments secondary to her race and gender, making it easy for her supporters to vilify anyone who questioned her qualifications. Many people with more time and intelligent than I have, researched her records, and published why they would not support her confirmation. In the same regard many with more time but questionable intelligence suddenly were experts on selecting and determining the qualifications for someone to become a Supreme Court Justice.  I did some research on her record and watched some of the confirmation hearings, but at the end of the day, no matter what she has done or said, she was going to be confirmed. 

By putting her race and gender first, and celebrating that she will be the first black women to serve on the highest court in the land, does her and black Americans a disservice. Once again, people will look at everyday blacks and wonder if they were hired, selected, or promoted because of their work and qualifications or because of their skin color or gender. Self-doubt will enter the minds of black Americans when they are hired, selected, or promoted, wondering why they really were placed in their position.

Many people think this is historic and are celebrating how wonderful it is to have “someone like us” on the Court.

These people can’t’ be women, because as I said earlier the court has had 5 female justices to date.

These people can’t be liberals because there are justices on the court who lean to the left.

These people can't be black... yes they can, because even though there is a black man on the court, he's "controversial."

So now we have a black woman as a Supreme Court Justice. Okay, what difference does that make?  The truth is most Americans don’t understand or even know the role of the Supreme Court. As I pointed out in a recent article, a 2020 national survey done by the American Public Policy Center, found a quarter of Americans cannot name a single branch of government, and only 51 percent could name all three branches. Many don’t know that the Supreme Court does not have judges; the members are justices. More importantly,   many Americans would struggle to name 3 current Supreme Court Justices. Mainly as the black community celebrates this achievement, you must ask, how will this confirmation help, improve schools in improvised neighborhoods, reduce crime, create jobs, temper poverty and slow down the number of children born out of wed lock?

This whole process from beginning to end was a dog and pony show with Biden throwing the black community a bone, just like he did when he selected Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential candidate. Every day it becomes clearer and clearer that Ms. Harris is not qualified to be our vice-president, but women everywhere were so excited and jumped on the “chucks and pearls” bandwagon.

The number of senators fawning over Ms. Brown-Jackson was embarrassing and unnecessary theater. The embarrassing gushing of Senator Cory Booker to the number of senators glad handing and back slapping about this “historic moment” is cringeworthy. A bone was thrown to the black and liberal community to cover up the continued failures of the Biden administration and to remind the voting public that we “hooked you up” so be sure to “hook us up” this November.

Buried in this celebration is the fact that President George W. Bush attempted to nominate the first black women to the Supreme Court. Her name was Judge Janice Rogers Brown. This attempt went without any fanfare.  Where were the crowds pushing for her to be nominated and possibly confirmed so we can have someone on the court “who looks like us”?  Buried in the celebration is the fact that our current president led the way to make sure Judge Janice Rogers Brown did not get nominated because he and others believed her to be “too controversial.”  As Mark Lavine noted on his radio program yesterday, anytime a conservative is nominated their first name changes to “controversial”.

From “chucks and pearls” to a soon to be justice who can’t give us the definition of the word woman, we are sliding down a hill leading our nation to an unrecoverable destruction.

People throughout this nation need to fight for reviving the ideal of character content, and accomplishments, even during times of adversity, ahead of skin color or gender.

We must stop allowing politicians to exploit race as a means of power. As Shelby Steel states in his book, “The Content of Our Character”, only a moral power based on enduring principles of justice, equality and freedom will offset this exploitive impulse in America.

We need to fight for diversity of thought on both sides of the aisle.

We need to fight for and support the idea of identifying as Americans first and doing what's right for Americans and not your political party.

We need to fight for and defend our Constitution and the freedoms it provides us.

We need to understand that with freedom comes responsibly and we must stop allowing ourselves to be traded like share on the New York Stock Exchange, by career politicians every election cycle. We need to hold our elected officials accountable for their many irresponsibility. 

Poor decisions and poor policies by politicians coupled with uninformed voters who are easily distracted, unconcerned, easily manipulated, and uninvolved will lead to an America where the American Dream will soon become the American Nightmare.

Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation is impressive. She will now sit on the highest court in the land. Judicially speaking there is no higher position. I would not have supported her nomination because of her judicial record, the various groups who support her such as Planned Parenthood, who’s primary job is to murder black babies, and that oh so popular group Black Lives Matter. Unfortunately, her record of being lenient when sentencing child molesters was not as important as supporting her because she would become the first black woman Supreme Court Justice. I will not cheer but I will not boo either; I will just watch as our nation continues to be bamboozled by our government and this current administration and pray we wake up soon.