After Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to be the next associate justice of the Supreme Court, working people celebrated the historic appointment. Here's what they said:
AFL-CIO: Today’s historic confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court ushers in a new era for our country, and we congratulate her on this extraordinary achievement. Throughout her confirmation hearings, Judge Jackson demonstrated why she is more than deserving of a seat on the bench. She personified grace and integrity in the face of many outrageous attacks on her character and impeccable credentials. Judge Jackson has the experience, temperament and commitment to ensure the judicial fairness we need in an associate justice. Her intellect, legal knowledge and record of upholding justice under the law will be invaluable as she makes decisions that directly impact the lives of working people, and champions equal rights. Judge Jackson’s life story and the milestone she has reached send a potent message to women and girls across this nation that nothing—not even a seat on our highest court—is out of their reach.
Judge Jackson’s confirmation is a victory for our democracy and our nation, and we look forward to her serving on the bench for a very long time.
—AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler
Actors’ Equity Association: As a nation, we are better served when diversity of thought, background and lived experience are represented on the Supreme Court, and so we celebrate Justice Jackson’s confirmation not only because of her enormous qualifications, but also because the presence of a Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court is long overdue. Additionally, Justice Jackson’s record on labor is superb. Time and again her rulings from the bench have recognized the inherent right of workers to unionize, which makes our jobs safer and more equitable. By now, we’ve all seen the photo of Justice Jackson in Little Shop of Horrors; it’s a delightful bonus that she has experienced the human labor that goes into creating live theatre. Equity is confident that Justice Jackson will be a wise and fair arbiter of the complex issues that come before our nation’s highest court.
—President Kate Shindle
AFGE: Judge Jackson has made history as the first Black woman ever confirmed to the highest court of the land. This is indeed a cause for celebration, as yet another barrier has been overcome in the fight for equality.
Judge Jackson’s previous work as a public defender and an advocate for reforming our criminal sentencing laws, along with her prior judicial rulings, show she will affirm the rights of regular American workers and everyday citizens while holding accountable those who break the law—even the most powerful among us.
On behalf of all the federal and D.C. government workers AFGE represents, I congratulate Justice Jackson on her historic achievement.
—National President Everett Kelley
AFSCME: Today is a joyous day in our history, as we celebrate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the nation’s highest court. 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.
Justice Jackson’s life experience and extraordinary professional credentials have prepared her for this moment. 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.
This is also a watershed moment in the struggle for racial and gender justice, as Justice Jackson becomes the first African-American woman to sit on the Supreme Court. The determination and pursuit of excellence that earned her this appointment are a testament to the promise of our nation. Even in the face of intolerance and bigotry, even with so many barriers to progress, we can make America better. Justice Jackson inspires and paves the way for a new generation of leaders, especially young women of color, who now stand even taller on her shoulders.
On behalf of AFSCME’s 1.4 million members, I congratulate our newest Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson.
—President Lee Saunders
Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU): Today, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson broke barriers as the first Black woman to serve on the highest Court in the United States. The historic confirmation of Judge Jackson, one of our nation’s brightest legal minds to the Supreme Court, means that Americans have a highly qualified Justice who has a clear understanding of the lives of working people and a long record of protecting them.
Judge Jackson, a daughter of public school teachers, has been a tireless advocate for the American people with exceptional qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court. With extensive litigation experience at every level of the federal court system, Judge Jackson has demonstrated through her extraordinary legal career that she will be a champion for justice and a defender of civil rights. She is the right person for this moment.
We congratulate Judge Jackson and the Biden Administration on this historic day for our country. President Biden promised to nominate a candidate who is a more accurate reflection of the American people, and he kept that promise.
—International President John Costa
American Federation of Teachers (AFT): The confirmation of Justice Jackson is a momentous day for our Constitution and the rule of law, and for young girls everywhere, particularly African American girls. As Sen. Cory Booker recently said, referencing a quote by Maya Angelou, ‘Rise, Judge Jackson, all the way to the highest court in the land.’ Rise she did—to become Justice Jackson, and the American people will be better off because of it.
—President Randi Weingarten
Communications Workers of America (CWA): Today’s confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, on a bipartisan, 53–47 vote, is a momentous step towards ensuring equal justice for generations to come.
Judge Jackson is an eminently qualified, fair minded, and brilliant jurist with a proven track record of defending the rights of working people over corporations and powerful special interests. She has supported workers who face religious and racial discrimination, and has opposed efforts to limit the scope of collective bargaining. Judge Jackson has a deep and demonstrated commitment to economic justice, environmental justice, voting rights, women’s rights, and other pressing human rights issues that impact the lives of everyday working people. As the first Black woman to be nominated for the nation’s highest court, she brings much needed diversity that is severely lacking in our entire justice system.
We applaud the Senate’s swift action, despite attempts by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders to derail her nomination, and we thank President Biden for his continued commitment to protecting workers’ rights and to ensuring that the Supreme Court is representative of the makeup and lived experiences of the American people.
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA): Congratulations Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson! We are thrilled to have your experience on the Supreme Court, protecting the constitutional rights of workers and everyday people. This is just totally awesome!
—International President Sara Nelson
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE): IFPTE celebrates the confirmation of Judge Jackson to the Supreme Court as a historic moment for all Americans. Throughout the Senate confirmation process, Judge Jackson proved herself to be an exemplary nominee for Supreme Court justice, demonstrating exceptional credentials, unimpeachable character, and unwavering commitment to the rule of law. Based on her record as a federal judge, we know she is a reasoned and thoughtful jurist who makes rulings based on the law, not ideological biases. Our union and union members across the country know how important it is to have Supreme Court justices and federal court judges who will even-handedly apply the law without any bias when it comes to matters impacting workers’ rights, civil rights, and other aspects of the working lives of Americans. We applaud President Biden for nominating Judge Jackson and the bipartisan Senate support for confirming our nation’s first Black female Supreme Court justice.
—President Matthew Biggs
IFPTE: IFPTE welcomes Judge Jackson as the newest justice on the United States Supreme Court and we commend the bipartisan Senate vote to confirm her. Her legal career has been focused on public service, including serving as Vice Chair and Commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, working for the District of Columbia’s Federal Defender Service, and close to a decade on the federal bench. Her character, her life and work experience, and her legal scholarship will add a needed perspective and a high level of judicial prowess to the Supreme Court. Based on her record on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Federal District Court, IFPTE is confident she will even-handedly apply the law when it comes to issues affecting working Americans. She has proven herself to be a highly qualified legal mind and IFPTE celebrates her confirmation to the Supreme Court.
—Secretary-Treasurer Gay Henson
Long Island Federation of Labor: Today is a truly historic day for our country. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson demonstrated tremendous grace and humility throughout the confirmation process. Throughout her legal career, her judgements demonstrate a keen understanding of what it is to be a working person. She is fair and just. Her character and leadership will serve her and the citizens of this great nation well when she is seated as a Supreme Court Justice. We commend the United States Senate for doing the right thing today.
—President John R. Durso (RWDSU-UFCW)
Machinists (IAM): The IAM welcomes the historic confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Her qualifications were on full display during the confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. Judge Jackson proved to the nation that she deserves a seat on our nation’s highest court. Her lifetime of achievements serves as a beacon of light for so many of our IAM members and other working families in our great nation. Judge Jackson proved that she will fight to protect the rights of working men and women, allowing their voices to be heard. The Biden-Harris Administration continues to bring balance to our nation’s courts. We also want to thank the U.S. Senators who voted to confirm Judge Jackson.
—International President Robert Martinez Jr.
Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU): We applaud the Senate’s swift confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court earlier today.
As the first Black woman and first public defender to sit on the Supreme Court, Justice Jackson’s confirmation is a milestone in the history of our nation. Throughout her confirmation hearings, Justice Jackson displayed a strong sense of integrity and intellectual vigor, despite attacks on her impressive credentials, leaving no doubt her nomination to the court was well-considered and well-deserved.
We congratulate her on her groundbreaking confirmation. With cases on the docket impacting workers’ rights and the very future of our democracy, we are pleased to have a principled jurist like Justice Jackson sitting on our nation’s highest court.
SAG-AFTRA: Ketanji Brown Jackson is a thoughtful and extraordinarily qualified jurist who has been on the side of labor and civil rights throughout her career. SAG-AFTRA strongly believes in the importance of diversity, and nowhere is that more important than on the highest court in the land. We still have a long way to go until the court looks like America, but this is a step in the right direction.
Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART): Americans of every background, color and gender believe in the sacred promise of equal justice under the law. For generations, Black women have been locked out of the opportunity to serve on the Supreme Court. With the nomination and confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, we are taking a step towards making our justice system one that respects and reflects the very best of every kind of American.
Judge Jackson has served in prestigious judicial positions with distinction as a champion for everyday Americans, carefully applying the law for working people across race, place and origin. Her confirmation on the Supreme Court is especially meaningful in a time when a wealthy and powerful few have attempted to trample our rights or deny our freedoms. This is done deliberately by pitting working Americans against each other on the basis of our race, gender and ethnic identity.
No matter our color, background or party, Americans believe that Justices on the Supreme Court have a duty to serve our country faithfully and uphold the sacred promise of equal justice under the law. Judge Jackson has shown her propensity to uphold these American values time and time again. Her diverse background as a graduate of a public high school and a former public defender gives her a unique perspective on the life of everyday Americans that few of the current justices have. While we celebrate her confirmation, we know that more work needs to be done to open up similar opportunities for others.
Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE): The confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court is historic, and marks a thoughtful effort to create a more representative judiciary in our country. Her wide field of experience and knowledge is not only impressive, but also speaks volumes about her judiciary process and stands on its own exemplary merits. Her appointment will bring a lived experience to the court that many Americans can draw parallels to their own life experiences. Her story is our story... an American story. Congratulations to Justice Jackson.
—Kimberly Butler-Gilkeson, co-chair of IATSE’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
Texas AFL-CIO: Working Texans believe fundamentally in equal justice under the law, but that ideal cannot be attained when broad communities are kept outside the chambers of the highest court in the land. Today’s confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice moves the court a step closer to the ideals of justice. Judge Jackson’s extraordinary preparation and poise under fire did not waver during her confirmation hearings even as several Senators, including the two from Texas, plowed new standards of absurdity in seeking to undermine the nomination. Now more than ever, we believe President Biden made a great choice. The Texas AFL-CIO is confident working families will be in good hands as Justice Jackson’s jurisprudence pursues equal justice for many years to come.
—President Rick Levy (CWA)
UAW: With today’s confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the United States Supreme Court gains a new justice who knows firsthand the challenges and hopes of working families across America as well as how the justice system impacts their lives.
Judge Jackson played a key role in the U.S. Sentencing Commission on criminal justice reform and showed a keen understanding of the implications of the law on everyday lives through her work as a public defender—many of whom are UAW members.
As Justice Jackson takes her seat in the nation’s highest Court, she will bring the experiences and perspective of the everyday lives of our UAW members, their families and all working families to our justice system for decades to come.
—President Ray Curry
UNITE HERE: UNITE HERE applauds the confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States. Justice Jackson’s qualifications are more than fit to fill the role on this crucial institution in the ongoing fight for a country where justice for all may prevail one day.
The impact of the Court’s decisions on workers’ lives cannot be overstated, from immigrant justice to LGBTQ+ equality, to rights on the job, and more. It’s more important than ever that the next appointee to the Highest Court be a person whose influence cannot be bought by corporate interests; someone who shares the vision of the Biden Administration’s pro-worker agency and cabinet appointees. Workers are facing a steep enough uphill battle when it comes to rights on the job. The Supreme Court may weigh in on significant decisions that will impact the everyday lives of millions of working people in one fell swoop, and to have someone involved in those decisions with such an impressive and consistent resume is a major step for the future of the labor movement.
It’s great to see the Biden Administration fulfill two promises with this confirmation—to nominate the first Black woman to the Highest Court, and to reach across the aisle for bipartisan support. It’s a remarkable thing to achieve in this day and age.
—President D. Taylor
United Steelworkers (USW): Today is a day for USW members and working people across the country to celebrate history, with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s bipartisan confirmation to the nation’s highest court.
In addition to breaking new ground as the first Black woman on the court, Judge Jackson has demonstrated throughout her career that she carries a deep commitment to protecting the rights of workers, upholding our nation’s core democratic principles, and ensuring equal opportunity for all Americans.
As we see increasing attacks on workers’ rights, voting rights and other fundamental civil rights across the United States, we now know that we have an ally in Judge Jackson who will safeguard our freedoms and uphold the sacred ideals on which our nation was founded.
As Judge Jackson demonstrated during her Senate confirmation process, she is the right person at the right time to serve on the Supreme Court. We are confident that she will serve our nation with honor and integrity.
—International President Tom Conway
Virginia AFL-CIO: Today Virginia AFL-CIO celebrates the historic vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. Her strong character and exemplary service reflect the best of our nation. The working people of Virginia are proud of our Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine for standing on the right side of history by voting to confirm Judge Brown Jackson. We look forward to the wonderful diversity, insight, and leadership Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will bring to our highest court’s decisions. To Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Virginia’s labor unions share your excitement and send congratulations to you and your family on this special achievement, and may you continue to break glass ceilings and leave a legacy of greatness for years to come!
Wisconsin State AFL-CIO: History has been made as Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed as our next U.S. Supreme Court Justice and our state and nation will be better off because of it. With an impeccable legal track record of prioritizing equal justice and fairness for working people, Judge Jackson is exceptionally qualified for this position and stands ready to protect the rights of all people equally under the law. Judge Jackson has the legal knowledge, experience and commitment to ensure the judicial fairness we deserve as Americans.
This bipartisan confirmation is a victory for democracy. Wisconsinites will not forget that Ron Johnson once again put partisan politics over what’s best for the country. In failing to join his colleagues in voting for the historic nomination of Supreme Court Justice Jackson, Senator Johnson once again showed just how out of step he is with the American people.
—President Stephanie Bloomingdale (AFT)