Ketanji Brown Jackson Makes History as First Black Woman Associate Justice

Courts News 06.30.22

Contact: Rachel Hooper, [email protected]

WASHINGTON Maya Wiley, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement upon the retirement of Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and the swearing in of Ketanji Brown Jackson as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court:

“Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson made history today at a critical moment for our nation. With our rights under attack, and at a time with increased attention on the U.S. Supreme Court, the swearing in of Justice Jackson brings hope for a future where our highest court delivers true and equal justice for all of us. Let’s be clear, fundamental civil and human rights are under attack by an ideologically extreme majority that has taken us backwards on abortion, civil rights, and more. We know that Justice Jackson will serve with brilliance and understands that people turn to the courts for fairness and justice. 

“This is also a day of celebration. Justice Jackson is a groundbreaker as the first Black woman — and first public defender — to serve on the Court. Even as we are redoubling our efforts to ensure our civil rights are restored, advanced, and defended, we hold on to the joy and promise that moments like this bring us. We also thank Justice Breyer for his principled service and his enduring commitment to protecting and advancing civil and human rights.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit