Washington, DC — Today, news outlets reported that President Joe Biden plans to nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. Muslim Advocates is working to support diverse judicial candidates with a strong civil rights background—including those who worked as civil rights attorneys and public defenders, like Judge Jackson.
The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Senior Policy Counsel Sumayyah Waheed:
“The nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court is a watershed moment for Black women, including Black Muslim women, who could soon see the first Black woman serve on the highest court in the land. This nomination is also a major victory in the fight to ensure equal justice for all people.
If confirmed, Judge Jackson would make history by becoming not only the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court but also the first ever former public defender to do so. For far too long, Black women and also people who chose to defend the powerless have been severely underrepresented in our judiciary. The combination of racial diversity and professional diversity that Judge Jackson possesses is exactly what we need to make our judicial system more just.
In particular, we want to laud Judge Jackson for her public defense work on behalf of people detained at Guantánamo Bay. For decades now, the government and law enforcement have trampled on the rights of Muslims—spying on us, arresting us, profiling us, putting us on discriminatory watchlists and even banning us. Judge Jackson’s unique experience as a former public defender is needed on the Supreme Court to turn back this tide of state-sanctioned discrimination and move us to our founding ideals of equal justice for all.
We thank President Biden for making this historic nomination and also thank Justice Breyer for his years of valuable service. We also must acknowledge that our judiciary is in crisis and the Supreme Court in particular is poised to roll back many bedrock civil rights protections. We hope Judge Jackson’s nomination will serve as one important step of many to drastically reorient the Supreme Court towards protecting the rights of all instead of the few.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.