Speak out, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Proverbs 31:9 NRSV
The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) commends President Joseph Biden’s nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States. We affirm her well-rounded qualifications and professional legal experience and denounce the overtly racist and sexist commentary that has infiltrated the public square and sought to debase this process and reject our Beloved Community.
Since 2018 when the NCC began the A.C.T. Now to End Racism initiative, we have been committed to eradicating the entrenched racism that grips the United States and paralyzes our ability to see every human being as equal. Since the formation of the Supreme Court in 1790, there has never been a Black woman on the court. In order to have equal justice for all, the court must reflect the diversity of our nation. This historic nomination is a long overdue step toward that goal.
We recognize the nomination of a justice with undeniable credentials, who has served on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after graduating with honors from Harvard College and Harvard Law School where she was an editor on the law review, clerking for three federal judges, and serving as a federal trial court judge. As Christians centered on the love of God for all, we proclaim the necessity of having a justice with a proven record of protecting the rights of everyone, no matter their race, religion, class, immigration status, or any other ways they might be marginalized, which Judge Brown Jackson did as a public defender when she represented indigent criminal defendants. We celebrate that her background means that she will bring a different lens to the judiciary.
The NCC has long worked to end the mass incarceration crisis, reform sentencing guidelines, and transform the nation’s criminal legal system, as it is deeply rooted in racism. We commend Judge Brown Jackson’s service as vice chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission when it sought to reduce the penalties for crack cocaine that were 100 times more severe than for powder cocaine, which was an NCC priority at the time.
The NCC holds that diversity on our benches is a necessity because it increases the trust we have in our courts and ensures everyone is represented in judicial decision-making. As the NCC works toward the advancement of civil rights, expanded health care access, and the protection of our voting rights, we support every justice who elevates these basic human rights.
We pray for each senator to put partisan politics aside and vote for justice for all. May our nation use this opportunity to embrace and celebrate our diversity as we strive to be the Beloved Community we envision.