HARRISBURG (April 7, 2022) – Pennsylvania Bar Association President Kathleen D. Wilkinson has issued the following statement:
“As part of its mission, the PBA supports a diverse and inclusive system of justice. We proudly reflect on that mission with the upcoming addition of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, the first Black woman to attain a seat on the nation’s highest court.
“As we and many others have noted, Judge Jackson brings top-tier credentials to the Supreme Court.
“She received the American Bar Association’s highest rating of ‘well-qualified’ to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court based on the qualities of integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and then attended Harvard Law School where she graduated cum laude and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. She clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer, the justice she is replacing. Judge Jackson has been a federal judge since 2013, serving first as a trial judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In the last year, she has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the second most powerful court in the country.
“Importantly, before her service in the federal judiciary, Judge Jackson was in private practice at prestigious law firms and was an assistant special counsel for the United States Sentencing Commission. Judge Jackson also served as an assistant federal public defender in Washington, D.C., where she provided constitutionally mandated representation to persons who were indigent or without sufficient means to afford a lawyer.
“In summary, Judge Jackson brings the highest qualifications and a unique background to the Supreme Court, including significant experience representing low-income defendants.
“Judge Jackson’s confirmation is another step forward in diversifying the Supreme Court. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to take a seat on the Supreme Court bench, did so in 1981. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of color, took a seat on the bench in 2009. Judge Jackson becomes the first Black woman justice and only the third Black justice in the Supreme Court’s history.
“We look forward to charting Judge Jackson’s impact on the Supreme Court, which as the final arbiter of the law is charged with ensuring all Americans the promise of equal justice under the law.”
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access of legal services; and serve the lawyer members of the state’s largest organized bar association.