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Supreme Court of the United States | Ketanji Brown Jackson: “All Americans can be proud of this moment”

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(Washington) « Il a fallu 232 ans […] before a black woman was chosen to serve on the United States Supreme Court, but we did it! Appreciated, Ketanji Brown Jackson delivered a powerful message of hope to the White House on Friday in a divided America.

The eminent jurist and magistrate laden with graduates, whose face most often lights up with a huge smile, became serious to conclude the speech that President Joe Biden had invited her to deliver, the day after the Senate confirmation of his appointment to America’s highest court.

“All Americans can be proud of this moment,” said the 51-year-old woman, dressed in dark as if to recall the black robe of the judges, received with honors in the gardens of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Behind her, multiple American flags waved by the breeze of a radiant spring morning, and the dazzling whiteness of the residence of the President of the United States, a scene such as American political power excels in inventing.

And in front of her, elected officials and many figures from the African-American community, in total hundreds of people who have risen several times to cheer her on or who, like her, have sometimes wiped away a few tears.


Photo Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson shed a few tears during her speech.

“In my family, it only took a generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court,” said Ketanji Brown Jackson, alongside who stood Kamala Harris, the first woman, and the first African American to be vice-president.

Her voice choked when, in tribute to civil rights activists and their past struggles, she said these lines from the great poet and activist Maya Angelou.

“Bringing the gifts my ancestors gave me, I am the slave’s dream and hope,” said the magistrate, whose appointment was a campaign promise from Joe Biden.

The Democratic President, savoring every moment of a ceremony which is also for him an undeniable political victory, paid tribute to the “strength” of Ketanji Brown Jackson and to his parents, both present, who experienced “the inhumanity of segregation”.

“That strength lifted the spirits of the millions of Americans who saw you, Judge Jackson, and especially women of color,” he said.

But Joe Biden, who owes his election in large part to the African-American electorate, also recalled that beyond this day of celebration and unity, partisan divisions were deeper than ever in the United States.

He felt that his candidate had been the target of Republican senators, during endless and sometimes tense hearings, “despicable and baseless assertions”.



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