OPINION: Labor Movement responds to the Senate confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court

The Labor Movement is responding to the historic confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. Here’s some of what Labor leaders had to say:

AFL-CIO
“[The] historic confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court ushers in a new era for our country, and we congratulate her on this extraordinary achievement. Throughout her confirmation hearings, Judge Jackson demonstrated why she is more than deserving of a seat on the bench. She personified grace and integrity in the face of many outrageous attacks on her character and impeccable credentials. Judge Jackson has the experience, temperament and commitment to ensure the judicial fairness we need in an associate justice. Her intellect, legal knowledge and record of upholding justice under the law will be invaluable as she makes decisions that directly impact the lives of working people, and champions equal rights. Judge Jackson’s life story and the milestone she has reached send a potent message to women and girls across this nation that nothing—not even a seat on our highest court—is out of their reach.

“Judge Jackson’s confirmation is a victory for our democracy and our nation, and we look forward to her serving on the bench for a very long time.”

– Liz Shuler, president

ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION
“As a nation, we are better served when diversity of thought, background and lived experience are represented on the Supreme Court, and so we celebrate Justice Jackson’s confirmation not only because of her enormous qualifications, but also because the presence of a Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court is long overdue.

“Additionally, Justice Jackson’s record on Labor is superb. Time and again her rulings from the bench have recognized the inherent right of workers to unionize, which makes our jobs safer and more equitable.

“By now, we’ve all seen the photo of Justice Jackson in Little Shop of Horrors; it’s a delightful bonus that she has experienced the human labor that goes into creating live theatre. Equity is confident that Justice Jackson will be a wise and fair arbiter of the complex issues that come before our nation’s highest court.”

– President Kate Shindle

AFGE
“Judge Jackson has made history as the first Black woman ever confirmed to the highest court of the land. This is indeed a cause for celebration, as yet another barrier has been overcome in the fight for equality.

“Judge Jackson’s previous work as a public defender and an advocate for reforming our criminal sentencing laws, along with her prior judicial rulings, show she will affirm the rights of regular American workers and everyday citizens while holding accountable those who break the law—even the most powerful among us.

“On behalf of all the federal and D.C. government workers AFGE represents, I congratulate Justice Jackson on her historic achievement.”

– National President Everett Kelley

AFSCME
“Today is a joyous day in our history, as we celebrate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the nation’s highest court. As Justice Jackson demonstrated in her confirmation hearings, she is an exemplary, fair and skilled jurist who will fiercely defend the Constitution and uphold the rule of law against escalating attacks on our democracy and working people.

“Justice Jackson’s life experience and extraordinary professional credentials have prepared her for this moment. As the daughter of two public school teachers, as a public-school graduate, as a clerk at every level of the federal judiciary, as a former federal public defender, sentencing commissioner, district court judge and appellate court judge, her understanding of the challenges working people face is unparalleled.

“This is also a watershed moment in the struggle for racial and gender justice, as Justice Jackson becomes the first African-American woman to sit on the Supreme Court. The determination and pursuit of excellence that earned her this appointment are a testament to the promise of our nation.

Even in the face of intolerance and bigotry, even with so many barriers to progress, we can make America better. Justice Jackson inspires and paves the way for a new generation of leaders, especially young women of color, who now stand even taller on her shoulders.
“On behalf of AFSCME’s 1.4 million members, I congratulate our newest Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson.”

– President Lee Saunders

AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION (ATU)
“Today, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson broke barriers as the first Black woman to serve on the highest court in the United States. The historic confirmation of Judge Jackson, one of our nation’s brightest legal minds to the Supreme Court, means that Americans have a highly qualified Justice who has a clear understanding of the lives of working people and a long record of protecting them.

“Judge Jackson, a daughter of public school teachers, has been a tireless advocate for the American people with exceptional qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court. With extensive litigation experience at every level of the federal court system, Judge Jackson has demonstrated through her extraordinary legal career that she will be a champion for justice and a defender of civil rights. She is the right person for this moment.

“We congratulate Judge Jackson and the Biden Administration on this historic day for our country. President Biden promised to nominate a candidate who is a more accurate reflection of the American people, and he kept that promise.”

– International President John Costa

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS (AFT)
“The confirmation of Justice Jackson is a momentous day for our Constitution and the rule of law, and for young girls everywhere, particularly African American girls. As Sen. Cory Booker recently said, referencing a quote by Maya Angelou, ‘Rise, Judge Jackson, all the way to the highest court in the land.’ Rise she did—to become Justice Jackson, and the American people will be better off because of it.”

– President Randi Weingarten

ASSOCIATION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS-CWA (AFA-CWA)
“Congratulations Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson! We are thrilled to have your experience on the Supreme Court, protecting the constitutional rights of workers and everyday people. This is just totally awesome!”

– International President Sara Nelson

MACHINISTS (IAM)
“The IAM welcomes the historic confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Her qualifications were on full display during the confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. Judge Jackson proved to the nation that she deserves a seat on our nation’s highest court. Her lifetime of achievements serves as a beacon of light for so many of our IAM members and other working families in our great nation. Judge Jackson proved that she will fight to protect the rights of working men and women, allowing their voices to be heard. The Biden-Harris Administration continues to bring balance to our nation’s courts. We also want to thank the U.S. Senators who voted to confirm Judge Jackson.”

– International President Robert Martinez Jr.

THEATRICAL STAGE EMPLOYEES (IATSE)
“The confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court is historic, and marks a thoughtful effort to create a more representative judiciary in our country. Her wide field of experience and knowledge is not only impressive, but also speaks volumes about her judiciary process and stands on its own exemplary merits. Her appointment will bring a lived experience to the court that many Americans can draw parallels to their own life experiences. Her story is our story… an American story. Congratulations to Justice Jackson.”

– Kimberly Butler-Gilkeson, co-chair of IATSE’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

UAW
“With today’s confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the United States Supreme Court gains a new justice who knows firsthand the challenges and hopes of working families across America as well as how the justice system impacts their lives.

“Judge Jackson played a key role in the U.S. Sentencing Commission on criminal justice reform and showed a keen understanding of the implications of the law on everyday lives through her work as a public defender—many of whom are UAW members.

“As Justice Jackson takes her seat in the nation’s highest Court, she will bring the experiences and perspective of the everyday lives of our UAW members, their families and all working families to our justice system for decades to come.”

– President Ray Curry

UNITE HERE
“UNITE HERE applauds the confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States. Justice Jackson’s qualifications are more than fit to fill the role on this crucial institution in the ongoing fight for a country where justice for all may prevail one day.

“The impact of the court’s decisions on workers’ lives cannot be overstated, from immigrant justice to LGBTQ+ equality, to rights on the job, and more. It’s more important than ever that the next appointee to the highest court be a person whose influence cannot be bought by corporate interests; someone who shares the vision of the Biden Administration’s pro-worker agency and cabinet appointees.

“Workers are facing a steep enough uphill battle when it comes to rights on the job. The Supreme Court may weigh in on significant decisions that will impact the everyday lives of millions of working people in one fell swoop, and to have someone involved in those decisions with such an impressive and consistent resume is a major step for the future of the Labor Movement.

“It’s great to see the Biden Administration fulfill two promises with this confirmation—to nominate the first Black woman to the highest court, and to reach across the aisle for bipartisan support. It’s a remarkable thing to achieve in this day and age.”

– President D. Taylor

UNITED STEELWORKERS (USW)
“Today is a day for USW members and working people across the country to celebrate history, with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s bipartisan confirmation to the nation’s highest court.

“In addition to breaking new ground as the first Black woman on the court, Judge Jackson has demonstrated throughout her career that she carries a deep commitment to protecting the rights of workers, upholding our nation’s core democratic principles, and ensuring equal opportunity for all Americans.

“As we see increasing attacks on workers’ rights, voting rights and other fundamental civil rights across the United States, we now know that we have an ally in Judge Jackson who will safeguard our freedoms and uphold the sacred ideals on which our nation was founded.

“As Judge Jackson demonstrated during her Senate confirmation process, she is the right person at the right time to serve on the Supreme Court. We are confident that she will serve our nation with honor and integrity.”

– International President Tom Conway

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