request our brochure

What Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the US Supreme Court reminds us

April 12, 2022

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson gave a soaring speech to mark her confirmation, quoting Maya Angelou’s famous words in saying that she too was “the dream and the hope of the slave.” The United States Senate has approved U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, by 53 votes to 47. With the approval, Jackson became the first black woman to take a position on the highest court in the US, a seat that is for life. Jackson can only take office after the departure of current Justice Stephen Breyer, who is expected to retire and leave office before the recess in June.

Jackson’s ascendance has ignited a discussion about the historic lack of diversity on the US’s highest court, and renewed focus on the absence of Black judges around the globe. According to a CNN analysis of data from the Federal Judicial Center, only in The United States, just 240 Black judges have been confirmed to the federal judiciary, and only 71 Black women have been confirmed, making up less than 2% of all federal judges.

Besides: “almost 80% of all federal judges nominated by a US president and confirmed by the US Senate are White, and 71% are men, with large gaps persisting in Latino, Black and women’s representation in the federal courts, the data shows, despite Black Americans accounting for 12.4% of the US population”, the publishing shows.

The gap is not restricted to the United States, much less the judicial system. In Brazil, for example, less than 30% of leadership positions in large companies are held by black people. Despite being 55.9% of the Brazilian population, blacks occupy only 4.7% of leadership positions in the 500 largest companies in the country, according to a survey by the Ethos Institute. The survey reveals that blacks are 57% to 58% of apprentices and trainees, but in management they are 6.3%.

Source: CNN, Instituto Ethos