On behalf of the AFL-CIO and our 57 affiliated unions which together represent more than 12.5 million working people, I write to recommend swift confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve as associate justice for the United States Supreme Court. Judge Jackson is a nominee with extraordinary qualifications and a wide range of experience and, if confirmed, would make history as the first African-American woman to sit on our highest court.
As a district and appellate court judge in the D.C. circuit for nearly a decade, she issued more than 600 opinions, establishing a record of fair and even-handed consideration of the issues before her. She demonstrated a willingness to treat each matter on its facts rather than coming to the case with preconceived notions of what the outcome should be. Many of her decisions reflect a commitment to upholding the rights of workers, immigrants and people with disabilities, as well as to safeguarding reproductive freedom and environmental protections.
Prior to her service on the federal bench, Judge Jackson practiced civil and criminal law, at both the trial and appellate levels. From 2010 to 2014, she served as vice chair and commissioner of the bipartisan U.S. Sentencing Commission where she ably worked to reach consensus with her fellow commissioners. She also spent a number of years as an assistant federal public defender for the District of Columbia, gaining a perspective that no other justice has ever brought to the Supreme Court. Finally, she has held prestigious clerkships at every level of the federal judiciary, including with current Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer whom she would replace on the Court, if confirmed.
The U.S. Senate already has confirmed Judge Jackson on three separate occasions. There is absolutely no reason not to confirm her again. She is a superbly qualified nominee who would bring long-overdue diversity to the court. The AFL-CIO urges a swift confirmation.
Elizabeth H. Shuler