HARRISBURG (March 21, 2022) – Pennsylvania Bar Association President Kathleen D. Wilkinson has issued the following statement:
“On February 25, during Black History Month, a historic event occurred when President Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States. If confirmed, Judge Jackson would be the first Black woman to serve in the United States Supreme Court’s 233-year history.
“Confirmation hearings of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson begin today during Women’s History Month.
“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has impeccable credentials and a unique background to bring to the court. The American Bar Association, in a unanimous vote, has rated her ‘well-qualified,’ its highest rating, to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. The ABA limits its evaluation to ‘the qualities of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament.’
“Judge Jackson graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University. She 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 would be replacing if confirmed.
“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 2021, President Biden nominated her to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the second most powerful court in the country after the Supreme Court because it hears challenging cases involving federal policy and other major actions involving federal agencies. The D.C. Circuit is considered a ‘pathway’ to the Supreme Court.
“Before her service in the judiciary, Judge Jackson was in private practice at various 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, a public service background she shares with former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
“Judge Jackson enters the confirmation process with an impressive resume full of top-tier credentials, which includes significant experience representing low-income defendants.
“The mission of the PBA includes the support and promotion of a diverse and inclusive system of justice, and that no one on account of poverty be denied their legal rights. We are proud of that mission as we observe this historic event.”