WFU Law School Administrator Says Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Rise to U.S. Supreme Court Historic Moment | News

JOHN HINTON Lee Newspapers

The historic moment of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation as the first black woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court will inspire young people to achieve that goal in their lives, an official from Wake Forest University School of Law said.

“It gives our law students and other young people who aspire to become lawyers that they too could one day become a Supreme Court justice,” said Alison Ashe-Card, attorney and associate director of diversity and inclusion at the WFU School of Law.

“Our profession has been seen as a white man’s profession,” Ashe-Card said. “The face of our profession is changing, and it’s so important that we have a diversity of experiences, opinions and thoughts (on the Supreme Court) because the world is changing.”

The U.S. Senate voted 53 to 47 on Thursday to confirm Jackson to the nation’s highest court, breaking a historic barrier by securing her place as the first black female judge.

Jackson, 51, is a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and a former judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

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During her career, she worked as an assistant federal public defender in Washington.

Jackson will take up his seat on the Supreme Court after Associate Justice Steven Beyer retires this summer. Jackson will be the third black judge after Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas and the sixth woman.

Denise Hartsfield, a retired Forsyth District Court judge, said she was thrilled and upset after the Senate vote to confirm Jackson.

“I’m happy for young women of color who are considering or can get a job related to our justice system,” Hartsfield said. “Hopefully this will give them the inspiration they need.”

Jackson is one of the most accomplished jurists to be nominated and confirmed to the United States Supreme Court, said Kami Chavis, law professor and director of the criminal justice program at Wake Forest Law School.

“His intelligence, integrity and unwavering commitment to the Constitution of the United States will be an asset to the court and to our nation,” Chavis said.

Forsyth County assistant public defender Artrese Ziglar said she was proud of Jackson.

“She has superior experience and worked hard for this moment,” Ziglar said. “As a black woman and a proud public servant, I would like to say thank you to her for all that she has done and will continue to do to protect our Constitution.”

Jackson’s ascension to the Supreme Court is the most significant moment in the court’s 233-year history, Ziglar, Hartsfield and Ashe-Card said.

“On the one hand, you think, ‘How did it take so long?'” Ziglar said. “But on the other, you think, ‘Yes, yes, yes, it happened. “”

“It’s a wonderful sight to see the interpreters of our Constitution making all American citizens look like American citizens – all of them,” Ziglar said. “It promotes equality before the law and the integrity of the judiciary.”

Speaking as a public defender and a black woman, Ziglar said Jackson serving on the Supreme Court “means to me hope, confidence and guidance that this can happen to anyone who works hard for this.

“Those glass ceilings were shattered,” Ziglar said. “(Jackson) breaks down all that stigma for black women lawyers, public defenders and aspiring lawyers.”

Martha K. Merrill