1st Black woman on US Supreme Court pays tribute to ancestors
By Lucia Leal
Washington, Apr 8 (EFE).- With tears in her eyes, the first African American woman to be elevated to the United States Supreme Court said Friday that this week’s Senate vote confirming her nomination would have been unthinkable for her grandparents.
“To be sure, I have worked hard to get to this point in my career, and I have now achieved something far beyond anything my grandparents could’ve possibly ever imagined,” Ketanji Brown Jackson said during an event on the South Lawn of the White House.
“But no one does this on their own. The path was cleared for me so that I might rise to this occasion,” she said, going on to quote lines from Maya Angelou’s poem, “And Still I Rise”: “bringing the gifts my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave.”
Three Republican senators joined all of the Democrats on Thursday to confirm Jackson by a vote of 53-47.
“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. But we’ve made it,” Jackson said.
“We have come a long way toward perfecting our union,” the 51-year-old jurist said. “In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.”
President Joe Biden, though he thanked the three Republicans who voted for Jackson’s confirmation, complained about the behavior of other GOP senators during the hearings.
“I knew the person I nominated would be put through a painful and difficult confirmation process. But I have to tell you, what Judge Jackson was put through was well beyond that,” Biden said. “The most vile, baseless assertions and accusations.”
“In the face of it all, Judge Jackson showed the incredible character and integrity she possesses. Poise. Poise and composure. Patience and restraint. And, yes, perseverance and even joy,” the president said.
Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to hold the post, told Jackson that she will become a role model for future generations.
“The young leaders of our nation will learn from the experience, the judgment, the wisdom that you, Judge Jackson, will apply in every case that comes before you,” Harris said.
“We’re going to look back – nothing to do with me – we’re going to look back and see this as a moment of real change in American history,” Biden said. EFE