AFSCME celebrates Jackson’s confirmation; Saunders calls it ‘a watershed moment’

AFSCME members and working families are celebrating the Supreme Court confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, whose life experience and extraordinary legal career make her uniquely attuned to the challenges working people face.

The Senate confirmed Jackson today by a vote of 53-47. President Joe Biden nominated her as associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in February after Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement.

Jackson will be the first African American woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court in our nation’s history.

“Today is a joyous day in our history as we celebrate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the nation’s highest court,” AFSCME President Lee Saunders said in a statement. “As Justice Jackson demonstrated in her confirmation hearings, she is an exemplary, fair and skilled jurist who will fiercely defend the Constitution and uphold the rule of law against escalating attacks on our democracy and working people.”

Jackson has a demonstrated and deep commitment to public service. Her parents taught in public school and her uncles served in law enforcement. Moreover, she has built an extensive record of protecting the rights and freedoms of working people.

“Justice Jackson’s life experience and extraordinary professional credentials have prepared her for this moment,” Saunders said. “As the daughter of two public school teachers, as a public-school graduate, as a clerk at every level of the federal judiciary, as a former federal public defender, sentencing commissioner, district court judge and appellate court judge, her understanding of the challenges working people face is unparalleled.”

From the moment Biden nominated her, labor unions have come out in strong support of Jackson. In addition to her impressive legal career, strong character and judicial temperament, labor advocates highlighted the importance of a federal judiciary that reflects the diversity and cultural experience of the nation.

“Representation matters in our justice system where cultural experience shapes the decisions made by judges,” reads a statement of support for Jackson signed by 27 labor unions, including AFSCME, earlier this week. “Confirming a Black woman to the Supreme Court after 233 years will not only add a needed perspective to the court, it inspires future generations and is a step towards creating a more just system by demanding a Supreme Court that looks more like America and serves all of us.”