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In Support of Jackson: YBLOC, Legal Partners, Launch “Pass Her the Gavel” Campaign

Suppert Of Jackson

Legal scholars and judges, community organization and women’s group heads, along with concerned citizens have raised their voices calling for fair treatment of Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson and the Young Black Lawyers’ Organizing Coalition (YBLOC) along with a coalition of organizations representing the Black legal community recently launched “Pass Her the Gavel,” a letter-writing and public engagement campaign calling for a fair, equitable and timely confirmation process.

The Harvard graduate is poised to become only the 116 Associate Justice with the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer. If confirmed, she will be the first African American woman, and only the third African American.

Members of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. There is a panel vote on April 4, which is also the 54th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

That confirmation process was swift for the most recent addition to the Court, Judge Amy Coney Barrett in 2020 with a 52- 48 vote, said U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), who decried the treatment of Judge Jackson by Senators.

“They attempted to try and destroy her emotionally, but they were unsuccessful,” Johnson said, adding that she thinks Judge Jackson, who was so “strong and solid” during questioning, would also be confirmed. “While there is resistance to teaching Black History, students don’t have to be taught, they are living it every day. The critics are teaching it themselves!

“It would be devastating if she did not get the vote. It also illustrates how far ahead we (African Americans) have to be to get in places while others can get in by being mediocre!”

Abdul Dosunmu, founder and chief strategist of YBLOC, also touted the judge’s credentials as he blasted Senators for turning the hearings into an “expression of vanity” by those seeking to “amplify their political aspirations at her expense.”

“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is exceptionally prepared to serve on the Supreme Court and has demonstrated a longstand- ing commitment to making the law fairer and more just,” he said. “We and our partners launched ‘Pass Her the Gavel’ to ensure that the Senate affords Judge Jackson the respect and fairness she is due as a trailblazing nominee to the highest court in the land.”

Dosunmu said he found the questioning of Judge Jackson to be deeply troubling and there were lessons to be learned moving forward, because the “antics were as much about the next vacancy as they were this one.”

“She was mansplained, talked over, ignored, and disparaged” he continued, pointing out that in contrast, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) in his comments “was affirming her in a way that many of us wish we could be affirmed.”

Judge Tammy Kemp, Presiding Judge of the 204th Judicial District Court in Dallas County, Texas, spoke about the treatment of women that is the norm.

“While the questioning of Judge Brown Jackson has been offensive, oft putting, and disingenuous, it is by no means surprising or unexpected,” she said. “The unrelenting micro aggressions and disrespectful behavior that women and particularly women of color experience on a daily basis has been normalized in America. What’s still sad is society’s quiet acceptance.”

Dosunmu said the “Pass Her the Gavel” campaign also highlights the pioneering work of Black women in law and the importance of Judge Jackson’s historic nomination.

Initiative is a clarion call by the Black legal community for a fair, equitable
and timely Senate confirmation process for Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji
Brown Jackson

“Unfortunately, the voices, experiences and perspectives of Black women have been systematically excluded from the Court’s judicial ranks for 232 years,” he said. “That changes with this nomination.”

Cheryl Wattley, a Law Professor at the University of Texas North Texas Dallas College of Law concurs.

“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic appointment to the United States Supreme Court will undoubtedly bring a new perspective to the work of the Court,” said Atty. Wattley. “As a Black woman, she has felt the challenges of being an outsider, breaking down walls. She knows the promise of the law and has proven her commitment to assure that all people are afforded equal justice.”

Pass Her Gavel

Law students across the country are weighing in on Judge Jackson, the Supreme Court, and the entire process of selecting jurists for the highest court.

“This nomination is an opportunity for our nation to create a more inclusive Supreme Court,” said Jessica Paige, a law student at the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, and a steering committee mem- ber of the coalition. “Pass Her the Gavel’ ensures that decision-makers in the Senate know the significance of the nomination to those they represent.”

Coalition partner organizations for the effort include: The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), the Southwest Black Law Students Association (SWBLSA), the Northeastern Black Law Students Association (NEBLSA), the Western Region of the National Black Law Students Association (WRBLSA), the Midwestern (Midwest) Region of the National Black Law Students Association (MWBLSA), Law Students for Black Lives (LS4BL), and the Florida A&M University College of Law Student Bar Association.

Other organizations that have shown support for Judge Jackson include: NAACP, Voto Latino, LatinoJustice, Mi Familia Vota, LULAC, American Bar Association, National Urban League, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

“Pass Her the Gavel” aligns with YBLOC’s mission to build a community-centered movement to ensure inclusive democracy.

LETTERS OF SUPPORT

U.S. Black Chambers Support for Jackson 
October 1999 SCOTUS Clerks Support for Jackson
Law Enforcement Support for Jackson
275 Black Women Law Professors Support for Jackson
38 Black Law School Deans Support for Jackson
850 Female Law Professors Support for Jackson
Former DOJ Officials Support for Jackson
91 Former AGs Support for Jackson
National Council of Jewish Women Support for Jackson
National Education Association Support for Jackson
Crime Victim Survivors and Advocates Support for Jackson
US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Support for Jackson
International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Support for Jackson
500+ Law Professors Support for Jackson
Statement from Clark Neily of the Cato Institute
Center for Disability Rights Support for Jackson
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Support for Jackson
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) Support for Jackson
Former Breyer Clerks Support for Jackson Former Jackson
Clerks Support for Jackson National Urban League Support for Jackson
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL) Support for Jackson
24 National AAPI Groups Support for Jackson
Disability Community Support for Jackson
League of Conservation Voters Support for Jackson
50 Environmental Groups Support for Jackson
LCCHR & 186 Civil Rights Organizations Support for Jackson National
Asian Pacific American Women's Forum & Sister Orgs Support for Jackson
National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives Support for Jackson
Former National Security Lawyers Support for Jackson NAACP Support for Jackson
Democratic Women's Caucus and Congressional Black Cau- cus Leaders Support for Jackson
Retired Federal Judges Support for Jackson
48 Florida Former Federal Prosecutors Support for Jackson Divine 9 Member Organizations
Pass Her the Gavel
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