Confirmation Process of Associate Justice At US Supreme Court

J. Soedradjad Djiwandono
J. Soedradjad Djiwandono, Emeritus Economics Professor, FEB-UI, Jakarta and Professor of International Economics, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.

Jakarta, IO – It is interesting to follow the discussions in the US Senate Judiciary Committee for the confirmation of a new Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; Judge Kitanji Brown Jackson has been proposed to fill in the seat of Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, who will retire soon. 

For one thing, it sounds strange for a country that has been established as a democratic state for 244 years, having already seen 115 Associate Justices come and go, to find it difficult to accept a black woman as a member. Some people still make big deal of the possibility, as if black women have no right to this top legal job, one with a life appointment, the same as others. 

Her credentials are certainly not the reason for denying her. She has a Law Degree from Harvard Law School, graduated summa cum laude. In addition, she has pursued a distinguished career in law enforcement and as a public defender. The current position she holds is Judge of the US Court of Appeal for Washington DC. So, what could hold her up from assuming the position as the 116th Associate Justice then? This six-million-dollar question is hard to answer. Her family background is very good, both in terms of her own parents and uncles, high-ranking police officials, one in Miami-Dade County. Her husband, Dr Patrick G. Jackson, is a surgeon at John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. They have two beautiful teenager daughters. Dr Patrick Jackson came from a well-known Boston-Brahmin family. So, all this history should not stand as a problem for her confirmation. In other words, if there is still a hurdle it must come from the fact that she is a black woman, right? This is just plain common sense.