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Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Confirmation Will Bring About Dramatic Shifts in Power


Ketanji Brown Jackson with staff members of Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) on Capitol Hill April 4, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images)

By Katie Usalis

Originally published in Ms. Magazine, 4/7/2022

It’s official. It’s done. History has been made. 

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is the first Black woman to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice of the United States of America. She is also …

  • The first Supreme Court justice raised by parents who grew up in the Jim Crow South.
  • The first Supreme Court justice with an African name, given to express pride in the family’s heritage and hope for the future.
  • The first Supreme Court justice who has served as a public defender.

Why do all these firsts matter, especially the ones that have nothing to do with her work as a judge? Let’s dive in.

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