Ferris State Political Science Professor’s Take on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Confirmation

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday.

Jackson will become the first black woman to ever sit on the bench.

“There’s a point in time in American history in which the Supreme Court was realistically a bunch of old white guys. And as that court continues to look more like the rest of America, not only are we going to see more people of color and more women believe that that is an achievable goal for them,” said David Takitaki, Political Science Professor at Ferris State University.

Jackson will also become the first former public defender to serve on the high court.

“I have found them to be much more incisive when it comes to things like sentencing,” said Professor Takitaki. “I found people with that kind of criminal experience, criminal defense experience to have very, very keen insight into what people are attempting to accomplish when they’re standing before them in court.”

Jackson is also the second youngest person confirmed to the highest court.

“A younger person on the Supreme Court means that their perspective will shape that court realistically for decades to come. Supreme Court justices retiring early doesn’t happen all that often. Many of them either die on the bench or serve well into their eighties,” said Professor Takitaki.

Although Jackson’s confirmation does not change the majority on the court, Professor Takitaki says her dissenting opinions will have an impact.

“Judge Brown’s ability to dissent means that she can make strong legal arguments even if she’s not on the winning side. That will be recorded for posterity and influential in the court’s matters in the future,” said Professor Takitaki. “The other thing I want to point out is that her perspectives and her ability as both a barrister and as a judge will influence the deliberations.”

Jackson will be sworn into the highest court this summer.