President Joe Biden’s promise to appoint a Black woman as a Supreme Court Justice during his presidency has been met with criticism despite the Supreme Court historically being devoid of racial and gender balance. As Ketanji Brown Jackson stands as the front runner for the SCOTUS post, how does that impact the future of the Supreme Court? Will her decision making in the future empower those who are marginalized? What is gained when there is diversity amongst our politicians and judges?

Haley Brown ’22

While Joe Biden’s promise to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court is a much-needed first step towards rectifying the lack of diversity that has been and is currently present on the Supreme Court, we need to be careful not to conflate one’s race or gender with one’s political or legal decision-making. As we’ve seen with multiple female picks in the past, just because a woman is on the Supreme Court does not necessarily mean that her decisions will “favor” women (or the wishes of the majority of women). While I cannot claim to know whether Ketanji Brown Jackson’s legal decision-making will empower those who are marginalized, I do imagine that her mere presence on the Bench may serve as inspiration to those who have not seen themselves represented in such high positions. This country desperately needs more diversity in its judicial makeup, or there will never be change.

Haley Brown is a senior majoring in American studies film, television, & interactive media and minoring in, legal studies, English, creative writing. She is the co-general manager of WBRS.