PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. She will be the first Black female justice when sworn in later this year.
CBS3 spoke to Dr. Donna Patterson, a professor and the chair of the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy at Delaware State University. She also directs the Africana studies program and she was very excited about the history we witnessed Thursday.READ MORE: Philadelphia School District Students, Staff To Resume Masking As COVID Cases Continue To Rise In City
“I was very happy to see this come to fruition both as someone who is chair of the Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy because definitely the history and politics cover this. But also as a Black woman,” Patterson said.
Patterson shared that it’s not about identity politics, as some would call it, it’s about kids growing up and seeing an accomplished adult who looks like they do, having someone they can look up to, and a vocation or career they themselves can strive for.
“I’m looking at it more of in terms of representation. Yes, she will bring some of her background into the case, but everyone else who sits on the Supreme Court has also brought their background to the case,” Patterson said.
CBS3 asked why skin color or gender matters, assuming the most qualified judicial candidate would surely be impartial.READ MORE: West Philly Double Shooting Leaves 30-Year-Old Man Dead, Teen Hospitalized: Police
“If a justice remains objective, I don’t think it matters what their race or gender is. And I think we have to look at it historically, was everyone objective? We hope that they were and we hope that they will be,” Patterson said.
In addition to being the first Black woman on the court, Judge Brown Jackson will buck another trend. Most Supreme Court justices have been prosecutors — they charge people with crimes. She will be the first judge on the court who served as a federal public defender.
“I think diverse perspectives are always important. It doesn’t matter if you agree with them or not,” Patterson said.
And CBS3 wanted to know what this moment says about America in the year 2022?
“It’s a moment of hope but also gives me this feeling that there’s so much more that we need to strive for and reach for,” Patterson said.MORE NEWS: Police Investigating Series Of Gunpoint Robberies In Center City, West Philadelphia
Patterson also noted that Vice President Kamala Harris — also a lawyer and trailblazer as the first female and first Black vice president in this country’s history — was the one presiding over Thursday’s vote and affirmed Judge Brown Jackson’s confirmation as the next Supreme Court justice.