Washington, DC — Today, the U.S. Senate held a vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court. The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Senior Policy Counsel Sumayyah Waheed:
“We are overjoyed by the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the next Supreme Court justice. The significance of a public defender joining the bench for the first time in our nation’s history is not lost on us. Judge Jackson lives at multiple intersections, one of them being the crossroads between professional and racial diversity. Her commitment to equal justice, and experience working directly with individuals that the justice system has frequently dismissed, is what we need to steer our courts toward equal justice for all.
Throughout the confirmation hearings, Americans watched as Judge Jackson faced hostile and bad-faith questioning from senators. While her qualifications and experience spoke for themselves, her faith was even called into question. Her confirmation hearings have been a sobering reminder how some politicians will stoke religious divisions for political gain, even against qualified individuals passionate about serving our nation.
We also saw inappropriate hypotheticals posed by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) seeking to link the Judge’s work providing due process for a detainee at Guantanamo Bay with representing Nazis at Nuremburg. Weaponizing an atrocity experienced by one marginalized group to demonize a person upholding the fundamental right to due process is reprehensible and undermines the American values and legal principles that Supreme Court justices are meant to serve. The American Muslim community knows all too well the damaging history of Guantanamo Bay, a lasting symbol of anti-Muslim discrimination and of the mass erosion of civil liberties in the post-9/11 era. It is incredibly meaningful that someone who sided with core values of our democracy when it was least popular will soon sit on the highest court in the land.
There is still much work to be done, but Judge Jackson’s confirmation is cause for celebration. Her nomination is a testament to her hard work, proven track record and sheer will to excel in the name of our country. We look forward to the day when religion is not weaponized to minimize the obvious qualifications of a public servant, and when the courts put equal justice first.”
Muslim Advocates previously issued their support of Judge Jackson’s nomination, her work in civil rights and what her representation means for the future of diverse presence in the highest court.
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.