I’m reaching out to share my perspective on the historic nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the US Supreme Court.
Following days of hearings, the US Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on Judge Jackson’s nomination on April 4th, with a vote by the full Senate to follow. We’ve watched a parade of Senators holding forth in the televised confirmation hearings, testing out attack lines for the 2022 midterm elections and creating media moments to share with their funders. It seems like for most of them, picking a Supreme Court is a matter of partisan politics.
However, for caregivers and other working people, the choice of who sits on the highest court in the land will determine our future and whether our rights are respected.
For us, this is important.
From the infamous Janus decision attacking public employees to the Cedar Point ruling restricting workers’ right to organize, we have seen firsthand how important it is to have strong representation on the nation’s highest court. Now, with the right to join a union, voting rights, reproductive rights and immigrant rights under threat across the country, we need a fair-minded Supreme Court Justice. We need someone on the Court who can see and understand the experience of working people. That’s why I support the nomination of Judge Jackson.
Judge Jackson’s impressive legal background, stellar record, and reputation for fairness will make her an invaluable asset to the Court. In her first published opinion on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, she sided with federal workers who argued that their employers must bargain with unions over changes to working conditions. As a former public defender, she has deep experience representing people who are too often denied access to equal justice, a perspective that has been missing from the Supreme Court since Justice Thurgood Marshall retired 30 years ago. Judge Jackson is widely recognized as one of the nation’s sharpest legal minds and has already been confirmed by the Senate with bipartisan support three times. Working people across the country will be cheering as she is confirmed for a fourth time.
Ketanji Brown Jackson is like many members of our union. Her parents were school teachers. Her brother is a US Army Iraq veteran who became a police officer. She worked hard in school and rose to the highest levels of achievement in her field, but will always be shaped by her life experience and understanding of what ordinary working people face every day.
If Judge Jackson is confirmed, she would be the first Black woman in the history of the United States to serve on our highest court. Thanks to President Biden’s commitment to increasing racial and professional diversity on the bench, more children of all backgrounds can imagine themselves reaching the highest heights in public service.
No matter where we come from or what we look like, we all do better when the law is interpreted with fairness and justice for all.
I urge US Senators Pat Toomey (R – PA) and Bob Casey (D – PA) to vote to confirm Judge Jackson as our next Justice of the Supreme Court.
Matthew W. Yarnell
President, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania