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Bloomington-Normal NAACP sees 'hope, possibility and empowerment' in Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination

Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending judicial nominations on April 28, 2021.
Kevin Lamarque
Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending judicial nominations on April 28, 2021.

The Bloomington-Normal NAACP praised President Joe Biden on Friday for keeping his promise to nominate the first Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ketanji Brown Jackson, a former public defender and federal trial court-turned-appellate judge, would succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

As a candidate, Biden promised to nominate a Black woman to the court if given the chance, acknowledging women of color are underrepresented on the bench.

Linda Foster, president of the Bloomington-Normal NAACP chapter, said Jackson’s nomination provides a sense of hope and possibility for Black children to recognize their potential. Foster’s NAACP chapter has an active Youth Council.

“Jackson will fill a void on the Supreme Court,” Foster said. “A void that has been ignored and minimized since 1789, as this is the same court that once deemed Black people unworthy of citizenship. With this nomination, little Black girls and little Black boys will hopefully recognize even greater potential in their possibility.”

NAACP first vice president Dr. Carla Campbell-Jackson said it’s important to not just make promises to be more inclusive, but to follow through on them.

“Don’t just talk about it. It’s one thing to just be on the battlefield and to speak about diversity and inclusion, but what are we really and truly fostering?” asked Campbell-Jackson.

She said the NAACP applauds Biden's decision not only because of Jackson's qualifications for the high court, but because she is changing the dynamic and will represent Black women across the nation.

Professionally, Jackson is an experienced judge. For eight years, she served as a federal trial court judge and last June was confirmed for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Jackson would be the first Supreme Court justice since Thurgood Marshall to have represented indigent criminal defendants.

“This monumental nomination will ensure the Supreme Court is representative, inclusive and diverse,” said Campbell-Jackson.

Jordan Mead is a reporting intern at WGLT. She joined the station in 2021.
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