While a lot of attention will be paid to U.S. Senate races and state legislative races, just as much attention must be paid to state judicial races. State judges and justices, who are elected in many states, will have the final say on access to abortion healthcare.
As I witnessed several U.S. senators smear and disrespect Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearings, I wanted to shout these words: “America, get your knee off our necks.”
Jackson should be confirmed with an overwhelming bipartisan vote. However, that’s not the world in which we find ourselves, But history will soon be made, and Judge Jackson will become Justice Jackson—with a bipartisan vote. And from henceforth all Black women and girls will finally see themselves on our highest court.
At the end of 2021, 80 percent of President Biden’s confirmed judges have been women—compared to 42 percent of President Obama’s federal judges and a mere 24 percent of President Trump’s.
It will take a sustained commitment to diversity to actually achieve a federal judiciary that reflects the American people. Even with President Biden’s diverse judges confirmed this year, the federal judiciary is still approximately 72 percent white and 65 percent men. The numbers are moving in the right direction, but we have a long way to go.