It was an epic proud parent moment!
The nation is watching history unfold as historic Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson began her 4-day confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. A powerful moment was captured during Jackson's opening statement when the camera panned to her parents Johnny and Ellery Brown, who were sitting in the front row beaming with pride.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's parents are seated in the front row.— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) March 21, 2022
Her father was the attorney for the Miami-Dade School Board. Her mother was the principal of New World School of the Arts, a magnet public high school. pic.twitter.com/retIRGVOGw
The federal judge started off her opening remarks by sharing that her parents, both former public school teachers, gave her the African name Ketanji Onyika "to express both pride in their heritage and hope for the future." It appears that Jackson is the manifestation of both; she continued on by thanking her father and mother for paving the way.
"My parents taught me that, unlike the many barriers that they had to face growing up, my path was clearer, such that if I worked hard and believed in myself, in America I could do anything or be anything I wanted to be," Jackson said. "Like so many families in this country, they worked long hours and sacrificed to provide their children every opportunity to reach their God-given potential. My parents have been married for 54 years, and they are here with me today; I cannot possibly thank them enough for everything they've done for me. I love you, Mom and Dad."
She went on to point out that it was her father, who later went back to school as a full-time law student, that sparked her interest in law. Jackson shared: "We lived on the campus of the University of Miami Law School, and during those years, my mother pulled double duty, working as the sole breadwinner of our family, while also guiding and inspiring four-year-old me."
Before closing her opening remarks, Jackson also thanked her husband, two daughters and extended family for all of their support. She concluded with acknowledging that she stands on the shoulders of those who came before her, like Judge Constance Baker Motley, the first African American woman to serve as a federal judge. Motley and Jackson share the same birthday of September 14.
After the hearings are complete, Jackson will need the approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee before her nomination can advance to the full Senate for consideration. If (and when) approved, Jackson will become the first Black woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court.
Read Judge Jackson's full opening statement here.
Photo courtesy of Saul Loeb/ AFP via Getty Images; Washington Post