Black women leaders urge swift confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court in new ad

EXCLUSIVE: The new ad, exclusively previewed by theGrio, is part of a $1 million campaign from Demand Justice.

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A coalition of Black women leaders appear in a new ad as part of a $1 million ad campaign urging the U.S. Senate to quickly confirm Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson looks on during a meeting with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) on March 02, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The 30-second ad, released on Thursday by liberal advocacy group Demand Justice and exclusively previewed by theGrio, features MoveOn Executive Director Rahna Epting, National Women’s Law Center President and CEO Fatima Goss Graves, Planned Parenthood Federation of America President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson, Advancement Project Executive Director Judith Browne Dianis and National Education Association President Becky Pringle.  

The women leaders joined forces to send a collective message that it is “long past time for the first Black woman Supreme Court justice” and that Brown Jackson is “beyond qualified” for the role. The leaders added that the 51-year-old current district judge is “brilliant and fair” and “applies the law equally.”

“This is an extraordinary moment for our country and for the fight to ensure justice is equal under the law. MoveOn’s members are fired up about confirming the first Black woman Supreme Court justice, and I’m thrilled to join in calling on the Senate to quickly confirm this highly-qualified judge,” Epting, MoveOn’s executive director, said in a statement to theGrio.

Planned Parenthood’s McGill Johnson in a statement to theGrio said, “Judge Jackson’s nomination is a meaningful moment for Black women — we far too often do not see ourselves represented in the highest seats of government. It is also critical for the entire country, who will now see another layer of lived experiences reflected on the highest court in the land.”

The ad’s release comes after Fox News host Tucker Carlson drew outrage Wednesday night when he demanded on his show that President Biden should release the LSAT score of Judge Brown Jackson, a Harvard Law School graduate, to prove that she is a “once in a generation legal talent.” Carlson appeared to reference President Joe Biden’s Tuesday night State of the Union address when he called Brown Jackson “one of our nation’s top legal minds.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold hearings for Judge Brown Jackson’s confirmation on March 21. Democratic leaders said their aim is to reach a final U.S. Senate vote by April 8. Though Brown Jackson only needs 50 votes to be confirmed by the Democratic-controlled Senate, the Biden White House has emphasized the bipartisan support she’s received for her previous judicial confirmations, suggesting they would like the nation’s potentially first Black woman Supreme Court justice to have the same level of support from the other side of the aisle.

When President Biden announced his historic nomination on Feb. 25, Senators Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham were quick to signal where the Republican Party stood on Judge Brown Jackson.

Ketanji Brown Jackson
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson looks on during a meeting with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) on March 02, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“Judge Jackson was the favored choice of far-left dark-money groups that have spent years attacking the legitimacy and structure of the Court itself,” said McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader.

Sen. Graham, who preferred fellow South Carolina native district court judge J. Michelle Childs as Biden’s nominee, said in a tweet that Brown Jackson’s selection suggested that “the radical Left has won President Biden over yet again.”

During a press briefing on the day of Judge Brown Jackson’s nomination, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in response to Republicans: ​​“Anyone who is already ruling her out, without even meeting with her, engaging with her, and reviewing her extensive record as a fair and just judge, you know, there may be other reasons for that.”

On Thursday, Brown Jackson met with several U.S. Senators, including Senator McConnell, on her first day of meetings with lawmakers whose votes she hopes to get in the affirmative. When asked how the meetings were going, Judge Brown Jackson reportedly responded, “good, thank you!”

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