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Boston, Mass. (April 7, 2022) - The Unitarian Universalist Association is celebrating the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. With the 53 to 47 vote by the United States Senate, Judge Jackson becomes the first Black woman to become a Supreme Court Justice in the nation’s history.
As exemplified in remarks she gave at Columbia Law School one year ago, Judge Jackson’s commitment to building a judicial system that is fair for those that the system has often marginalized is clear and unparalleled: “We are now charged with the responsibility...of doing the work that is necessary to protect the rule of law and to promote equality and justice for all.” She echoed her pledge to “equal justice under the law” in her opening statement in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 21st.
When President Joe Biden selected Judge Jackson for this role, he set in motion a historic confirmation process for the highest court in the nation, characterized by Judge Jackson’s important and unique perspective. She will be the first public defender to ever serve in the role of Supreme Court Justice and will be the first in more than 30 years to have experience as a criminal defense attorney. Her record demonstrates that she understands the inequity that currently exists in our judicial system and that action is required to create a more just system in which all are treated equally.
Her experience as a Commissioner and Vice Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission offers a powerful example of her commitment to equal justice under the law. During her time on the commission, the body implemented reforms to federal sentencing guidelines to address the disproportionate impact they have had on Black and brown communities. As Unitarian Universalists (UU), we hold close the principle of justice, equity for all, and compassion in human relations - values that are often absent in our criminal justice system, as the disparities in the federal sentencing guidelines showed, despite the ideals proffered by our judiciary.
As we witnessed during the hearings in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Jackson’s experience speaks to her deep understanding of the disconnect between ideals and reality - and the importance of eliminating the gap between the two. As a judge, she has upheld the rights of immigrants, of working people, and of people living with disabilities while carefully approaching questions related to the Constitution and the separation of powers. Through her rulings, she shows a deep understanding of the connection between democracy and protecting the rights of the marginalized and powerless. Both her experience and her life story as the daughter of two public school administrators speak to a powerful sense of justice, compassion, and empathy, values that Unitarian Universalists share.
President Biden sought a candidate with exceptional credentials, unimpeachable character, and unwavering dedication to the rule of law – and he found all of those qualities in Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Judge Jackson’s historic nomination helps our nation fulfill those principles, and we are uplifted about what her confirmation means for the future of our nation.
About the UUA
The UUA is the central organization for the Unitarian Universalist (UU) religious movement in the United States. Our faith is diverse and inclusive and the UUA’s 1000+ member congregations are committed to Seven Principles that hold closely the worth and dignity of each person as sacred, the need for justice and compassion, and the right to choose one’s own beliefs.