Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson paid tribute to God and her family at the start of her confirmation hearings to the Supreme Court on Monday where — if confirmed — she’ll be the first African American woman to serve on the nation’s highest court.
“It is faith that sustains me at this moment. Even prior to today, I can honestly say that my life has been blessed beyond measure,” the judge told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Joined by her parents, husband, daughters, family and friends, the nominee sat before lawmakers for about five hours on Monday, telling the audience that she hopes to demonstrate anything is possible in America so long as one works hard.
Judge Jackson noted her parents moved from Miami to Washington, D.C. after Civil Rights laws were enacted so she could have opportunities that were not afforded to them.
“My parents taught me that unlike the many barriers they had to face growing up, my path was clearer, so if I worked hard and I believed in myself — in America — I could do anything or be anything I wanted to be,” she said.
As a working mother, Judge Jackson said she struggled to find a balance.
“I hope that you have seen with hard work, determination and love, it can be done,” she said to her daughters.
Judge Jackson served as a district court judge for eight years, and was confirmed to the federal appeals court in Washington last year. In February, President Joe Biden nominated her to replace Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who is retiring this summer.
Judge Jackson is scheduled to appear before senators for questioning about her record on Tuesday.
Preparing for likely questions about her view of the legal system, judicial philosophy, and the Constitution, Judge Jackson told the senators she loves the nation — and its founding document.
“During this hearing, I hope you will see how much I love this country and the Constitution and the rights that make us free,” she said during her brief opening statement. “I have dedicated my career to ensuring the words engraved on the front of the Supreme Court building — ‘equal justice under law’ — are a reality and not just an ideal.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, has said they plan to hold a vote for Judge Jackson’s confirmation before leaving for Easter recess, which begins April 8.