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'It’s overdue. It’s a long time coming' | NAACP, Clayton Co. Black female judge react to Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation

Brown Jackson will become the first Black woman and 116th justice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

JONESBORO, Ga. — Thursday proved to be a historic day as the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

51 other U.S. Senators joined Georgia Senators Rafael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to make Brown Jackson the 116th justice to serve on the nation's highest court.

8 of the 9 judges in Clayton County Magistrate Court are Black women. A picture of them went viral. One of these judges said she hopes the confirmation will allow for better representation on the highest court in the nation.

“To see her rise to the highest court in the land, it’s amazing, and it really makes you speechless," Judge Candace Hill Duvernay said.

Clayton County Magistrate Court Associate Judge Candace Hill Duvernay dreamed of a career in law as a young Black woman.

“I wanted to be an attorney since I was in high school," Hill Duvernay said. "I have spoken at schools all across Metro Atlanta, and when they see little ole me coming in from Clayton County, Georgia, I see the ladies' eyes light up. I can only imagine what those little girls are thinking now seeing someone who has risen to the highest court in the land.”

“It’s overdue. It’s a long time coming. It’s a great day in America," Richard Rose said.

Atlanta NAACP President Richard Rose hopes this encourages the confirmation of more women of color.

“The most important thing about this appointment is the perspective she brings to the Supreme Court," Rose said.

Emory University Law Professor Fred Smith believes Brown Jackson has a strong background to understand different viewpoints on the high court.

“I think she'll bring perspective as a former public defender. That's important and as someone who has had family contact with the criminal justice system, both because of police officers who are in her family and also people who have been involved in other capacities.”

Smith thinks Brown Jackson's confirmation demonstrates someone can reach the high court regardless of race and gender.

"This is a candidate who has a 66% approval rating with Americans. I'm not I'm not sure even apple juice has a 66% approval rating," Smith said. "This is that this is a no brainer for the Senate, and I'm really thrilled that she's there. I think, based on the numbers, most Georgians agree."

Hill Duvernay said Brown Jackson's success inspires her to continue climbing the ladder in her own career.

"It's inspiring. It makes me want to be better. You think you make it and you're like, 'Wait a minute, there's more to do.' There are just so many floods of emotion that are coming up for me," Hill Duvernay said. “The possibilities will be endless to what kind of lives she will be changing," 

Hill Duvernay believes this is a step in the right direction and will allow more people to see someone who looks like them on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jackson won’t be sworn in until Justice Stephen Breyer retires later this summer. 


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