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Judge Jackson is the 1st, but hopefully not last, Black woman Supreme Court Justice


On the South Lawn of the White House today, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson took stock of the history she just made.


KETANJI BROWN JACKSON: 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.


JACKSON: But we've made it.



One day after her confirmation in the Senate, the justice-to-be paid tribute to the pathbreaking Black Americans who she said did the heavy lifting that made this day possible.


JACKSON: 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.


JACKSON: I am the dream and the hope of the slave.


CHANG: She said all Americans should take pride in this moment.

DETROW: It's especially sweet, though, for the Black women who have fought for Judge Jackson since her nomination.

PETEE TALEY: We made phone calls. We sent emails, even traveled to Washington.

DETROW: We first met Petee Taley last month at a rally for Jackson on the steps of the Supreme Court.

CHANG: Yesterday, back in Toledo, Ohio, she was glued to the TV as she waited for the Senate confirmation.

TALEY: We heard the sound of glass breaking when finally that vote came through.

CHANG: Taley had followed Jackson's confirmation process through hours of grueling hearings and what she called egregious questioning from Republicans.

TALEY: You know, there's a saying that goes something like, when you're tried in a fire, you come out as pure gold. But the challenge is surviving the fire, and that's exactly what she did.

DETROW: Now she says she's ready to celebrate all the way until Judge Jackson is sworn in this summer.

(SOUNDBITE OF CURTIS MAYFIELD SONG, "MOVE ON UP") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Megan Lim
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
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