By Cynthia Richie Terrell on March 04, 2022
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.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg used to lament what she imagined schoolchildren saw when they visited the Supreme Court: “All of these men and one tiny woman.”
After pioneering Justice Sandra Day O’Connor retired and as late as 2009, Ginsburg was that lone female justice. But if President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed, it would mean four women would simultaneously serve on the Supreme Court for the first time in its 233-year history, as close to gender parity as possible on the nine-person bench.
That won’t change the court’s ideological direction, and law professors and political scientists continue to debate whether gender significantly affects legal interpretation. But those who welcome the change say it is important for representational reasons, and they assert it could bolster the public’s view of the court’s legitimacy.
I hope to see a world where we can stop tossing confetti when 232-year-old institutions include women, people with brown skin, those who are differently abled, those who are LGBTQ or those who have been locked out for centuries.
I hope to see a world where braids and passion twists or kinky, curly, fuzzy, nappy, “grow as God gave me” hairstyles are as common as side-part, soft-fade, executive haircuts in CEO suites and anywhere people exert influence over life, learning, longevity and the engines of our economies.
I hope to see a world where names like Ketanji and Kamala and Kizzmekia roll off the tongue as easily as Ashok, Xiomara or Eun-Woo. A world where more National Football League coaches have names such as Kwame and Francisco. A world where college students do not feel like they must Anglicize their names so their résumés don’t go straight to the piles labeled “not ready” or “not sure” or “not now.”
And Jackson has inspired a generation of young girls and made a generation who came before her proud. During the press conference announcing her nomination, Jackson named Judge Constance Baker Motley, the first Black woman to be named to a federal court, as someone who inspired her. And Motley, along with a list of BIPOC women my age and older, judges, legal scholars, and attorneys who paved the way for this historic moment, this day is for you. To our mothers, aunts, teachers and friends, who because of family, financial or legal constraints could not go to law school, but who, like my own mother, made sure that we could have a career in the legal profession, this moment is for you too. Through this appointment we have all become more visible knowing that our struggles were not in vain.
In our celebration, we should recognize that influence on the law itself must be one of the benefits of having a Black woman on our country’s highest court. Since Supreme Court justices routinely discuss cases in conferences, Jackson’s participation in the Court’s deliberations is one way to think about how she might have a particular sway. For example, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor had written about how Justice Thurgood Marshall “profoundly influenced” her. For O’Connor, Marshall’s storytelling in meetings with his colleagues demonstrated “the human impact of the law” and counterbalanced judges’ tendency to view the law as abstract. If confirmed, I can only imagine that Jackson’s presence in the chambers of the Supreme Court will inspire deeper intersectional thinking about the power that the Court’s decisions have over people’s lives. In turn, this perspective just may change the justices’ thinking.
Black women’s political participation keeps our democracy thriving. However, Black women face unique barriers to running and winning, but remain one of the country's most powerful voting blocs.
We need more Black women in the state senate, where issues from jobs to voting rights to women’s health are being legislated. We must support and call more Black women into our statehouses.
The Lone Star State requires candidates to receive a majority of the primary vote in order to advance to a general election. And when more than two candidates seek a nomination, it becomes possible no one will reach that threshold in one round of voting. That’s what happened this week in races for attorney general, lieutenant governor and a handful of U.S. House races.
But if Texas used ranked-choice voting, also known as instant runoff, there would be no need to spend millions on an extra round of voting, when turnout historically drops dramatically, say the RCV backers.
Women in Wyoming are objecting to a number of bills in the legislature that would undermine women's equality and well being according to this story in the Wyoming Business Report:
Silently, and without revealing their identities, four women approached the Capitol at sunset Tuesday. They were dressed in red robes and white wimples.
A flyer for the event said it was a “Handmaid’s Protest” and listed no organizer. This was intended to be “anonymous for fear of retribution.”
The women stood without speaking to bring attention to the “very real consequences for Wyoming women due to the legislative bills that have passed in recent years and could pass the Wyoming Legislature in the next two weeks.”
Restrictions on women are real, the protesters argued in writing, and are not simply a fictional feature of a popular Hulu video streaming series. The program is based on the 1985 dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.
“We want to show the legislators that we fully understand the world they are trying to create with this legislation. Rather than continue the legacy of the Equality State, they are taking their cues from the fictional land of Gilead,” one organizer said.
Male executives and shareholders have long protested that they can’t possibly find enough qualified women to diversify their boards. Now, four years later, California’s experiment has quietly proved them wrong: They can, and in fact will, find qualified women if given a strong nudge. Contrary to the concerns of many executives before the law went into effect, the California law shows that they will find women who are just as qualified as men, suggesting that the real hurdle to gender diversity came down, at least in many cases, to a lack of effort. And once those women arrive, they make finding more women easier — which, studies show, will bring their firms higher productivity and performance thanks to the robust debate and fresh ideas coming from their boards.
To reach these conclusions, we studied nearly 3,000 publicly listed U.S. companies, representing more than 90% of stock market equity. For each company, we collected financial data from 2000 to 2018 on company size, growth, risk and performance, as well as details on the composition of their board of directors, such as their size and the percentage of female members.
Our data showed that while the overall share of women on corporate boards is very low, there is considerable variation across the U.S. In 2018, a quarter of companies in our database didn’t have a single female board member, and just under 100 had at least as many women as men on boards.