Thursday, June 1, 2023
HomeUncategorizedGrace and Commitment by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

Grace and Commitment by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

“Please Tell me you saw Ketanji Brown Jackson at the hearing last night.”

“I did it! Isn’t she incredible?”

I thought but didn’t say it because I Settling down with my client in cramped plastic chairs in the visiting room: What do you think of the confirmation hearing? I’m visiting my client in a juvenile detention facility in DC, assuming no access to live TV. Maybe it’s because no matter how many books I send her, she’ll read them all before I send her more. Before that, I had only imagined my client sitting in her unit, wearing a standard polo shirt and grey khakis, reading whenever she had time.

In that windowless room just three miles from the US Capitol Here, the two of us – two dark girls, one a teenage girl and the other year-old public defender — Take a moment to celebrate the way the soon-to-be-justice Jackson has masterfully navigated a series of grueling hearings. Vigilance alerted the guards, and we lowered our voices. In a moment, we’ll make an awkward transition to business: her criminal case and legal defense. Justice Jackson, a former public defender herself, should be familiar with this moment — when you have to remind someone you already deeply care about who are facing a painfully uncertain future. It’s your job to distill complex legal concepts and control your emotions. You also pay attention to your movements. Your customers are watching closely. If you’re fidgeting, it’s a sign that you’re just moments away from delivering bad news.

In an alternate universe, Justice Jackson herself was closely watched: millions of people across the country leaned against screens, hanging over her every word. She has, no doubt, the qualifications of a man qualified to serve on the court: Harvard Law School, three federal clerks (including one for Justice Stephen Breyer, whom she will replace), a tenure-track sentencing committee as vice chair of the United States , and federal judges at the district and circuit court levels. Nonetheless, this is unprecedented – none 114 The previous appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court was by a black woman. Just as anxious clients study their lawyers, we study her hearings. We look for hope in each of her coherent answers, in her clear interpretation of the law. We look for hope in her tone and in her smile. We are a nation hungry for hope.



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