Mar 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jackson: Having diverse Supreme Court "enhances public confidence"

Picture of Ketanji Brown Jackson

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Wednesday emphasized a diverse American judicial branch in order to "bolster public confidence in our system."

Why it matters: If confirmed, Jackson would become the first Black woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice.

  • Jackson has been open about her belief that she stands "on the shoulders of so many who have come before me," and has also acknowledged countless times the historic nature of her nomination.
  • Jackson said on Tuesday that she believes public confidence in the court is "crucial," adding that it is "the key to our legitimacy in our democratic system."

State of play: On the third day of Jackson's Senate confirmation hearings, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asked her why the country's institutions in the different branches of government should "reflect the diversity of our nation's citizenry."

What she's saying: "The judicial branch, it's a force in our system, is the protection of the rule of law, which can only be done by essentially, the consent of the governed," Jackson said.

  • "It can only be done if people in our society believe, decide and agree that they're going to follow what it is that courts decide. And so one of the reasons why having a diverse judicial branch is important is because it lends and bolsters public confidence in our system," she said.
  • "When people see that the judicial branch is comprised of a variety of people who have taken the oath to protect the constitution, and who are doing their best to interpret the laws consistent with that oath, it lends confidence, that the rulings ... that the court is handing down are fair and just."

Jackson also said diversity is important "from the standpoint of role modeling."

  • "I have been so touched by the numbers of people who have reached out to me in this period of time to say how much it has meant to their daughters, to their sons, to the next generation, that I've been appointed, nominated and hopefully confirmed," she said.

Go deeper: Jackson: "Public confidence in the court is crucial"

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