Showing posts with label Ketanji Brown Jackson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ketanji Brown Jackson. Show all posts

Thursday, April 7, 2022


GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to limit debate after a contentious weeks-long debate battle, and later confirmed Jackson with a 53-47 vote. Three Republicans joined Democrats in the evenly divided senate, voting to confirm Jackson: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney. Jackson will be the first Black woman and first public defender to sit on the court when she is sworn in this summer.

Quote from Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD:

“LGBTQ rights are under attack all across this country, and today’s confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court is a critical step to ensure our hard-won progress is not reversed by those using the courts to fight outdated culture wars. Judge Jackson’s experience and judicial temperament will make her one of the most qualified justices ever to serve on the Court. GLAAD congratulates Judge Jackson and our entire nation on this historic and long overdue representation.”

Ellis also responded to the nomination on Twitter.

Judge Jackson’s career includes experience as a federal judge and a federal public defender, and staunch protector of essential civil and human rights important to LGBTQ Americans, including defending and upholding fair sentencing practices, disability rights, workers’ rights, immigrants’ rights, reproductive justice, and environmental protections. In a March poll, two-thirds of Americans said they supported Jackson’s confirmation. Another poll in early April showed that Jackson has more support from Americans than any of former president Donald Trump’s nominees to the court. 

During Judge Jackson’s Senate confirmation hearings, senators on the committee criticized the landmark marriage equality case Obergefell v Hodges, repeatedly raised racist questions to the nation’s first Black female Supreme Court nominee and misrepresented her sentencing record, and used the hearing to spread misinformation about transgender people. 

GLAAD has tracked the anti-LGBTQ history of several committee members via the GLAAD Accountability Project, including Marsha Blackburn, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Josh Hawley, Mike Lee, and Thom Tillis.

Sen. Graham, who led the contentious and rushed confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, said, “If we get back the Senate, and we're in charge of this body, and there's judicial openings, we will talk to our colleagues on the other side. But if we were in charge, [Jackson] would not have been before this committee." Sen. Graham voted to confirm Judge Jackson to the DC Circuit Court last year.

Supreme Court decisions expanding and upholding LGBTQ equality include:

Bostock v Clayton County (2020) - expanded Civil Rights employment protections

Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) - granted marriage equality

United States v. Windsor (2013) - overturned the discriminatory “Defense of Marriage Act”

Lawrence v. Texas (2003)- secured the Constitutional right to privacy and dignity for LGBTQ people and relationships

Romer v. Evans (1995) - struck down state laws banning LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections

Friday, March 18, 2022

Human Rights Campaign Releases Report on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released a 12-page report detailing the pragmatic and empathetic judicial approach of President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. Judge Jackson was nominated to fill the seat that will be left vacant by the retirement of Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, a champion for LGBTQ+ equality.


The report details Jackson’s record as a judge and past statements on a range of civil rights and constitutional issues, and how those would likely inform her work as a Supreme Court Justice. As Jackson aptly said “civil rights gains—from women's rights to gay marriage—rely, in part, on the trailblazing work of black civil rights leaders, including black women.”


“The Supreme Court and its Justices are tasked with the immeasurably sacred duty of upholding the rights and liberties of all Americans—including, but not limited to, the constitutional rights of LGBTQ+ people, communities of color, and other marginalized populations,” said Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign Interim President. “After a thorough and careful review of Judge Jackson’s legal record, on the bench and off, it is clear that she will uphold and honor the principles of equal rights for all and continue Justice Breyer’s legacy as a pioneer of equality. As such, the Human Rights Campaign is incredibly proud to support Jackson to be the newest Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. There is absolutely no question—she is an exceptionally qualified candidate for this appointment. Her confirmation to our highest court will be historic and another step toward ensuring that our justice system reflects the nation that it serves.”


Overall, Jackson's record on the bench and as a practicing attorney reveals several significant and encouraging qualities that are relevant to the mission of HRC and to the LGBTQ+ community:

  • First, her tenure on the federal judiciary and in government service evinces a deep commitment to defending the accused, advocating on behalf of marginalized communities, and protecting individual and constitutional rights.
  • Second, in key discrimination cases, her rulings demonstrate a keen appreciation of why government officials have a compelling interest in remedying discriminatory measures and legacies -- and of how federal anti-discrimination statutes can apply to new technologies and situations.
  • Third, in the face of arbitrary and lawless actions by the Trump Administration, Judge Jackson maintained a steadfast commitment to the rule of law.

While Judge Jackson's docket has not touched directly upon issues of LGBTQ+ rights, in other public remarks, she has highlighted the historical connections between LGBTQ+ rights and civil rights for other marginalized groups and rightly framed the Obergefell decision on marriage equality alongside Supreme Court precedents about constitutional protections involving privacy and interracial marriage. For the reasons outlined, HRC proudly supports Jackson’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Jackson graduated from Harvard University and later attended Harvard Law School, where she was a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. She clerked for three federal judges (including Justice Breyer), worked in private practice, and served both on the United States Sentencing Commission and as a federal public defender in Washington, D.C. In 2013, the United States Senate confirmed her to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia until she was again confirmed and elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2021. Now, she is the first Black woman to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, adding significant racial, gender and professional diversity to our nation’s highest court.


The decisions made by the Supreme Court have established important legal precedents that impact the daily lives of all Americans. Over the past three decades, the LGBTQ+ community has benefited from several groundbreaking decisions from the Court, including Romer v. EvansLawrence v. TexasU.S. v. WindsorObergefell v. Hodges and Bostock v. Clayton County. During that same period, the Court also handed down a number of rulings that are deeply problematic for civil rights and the public interest, for example, curtailing reproductive freedom and voting rights, in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Shelby County v. Holder, respectively. Notably, many of these rulings – both positive and negative – were decided by razor-thin margins, highlighting the importance and magnitude of the responsibility handed to each individual justice.