A lifetime 'first,' local attorneys react to Jackson's confirmation.

AuthorTeske, Ali
PositionKetanji Brown Jackson

Byline: Ali Teske

As Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes a justice-in-waiting, her role beginning in October following Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement, Wisconsin lawyers beam with pride as Jackson this week became the first Black woman confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court on a 53-47 vote. Jackson will sit beside three other women justices and one other Black justice.

Brittani Miller, an associate at Michael Best and Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers board member, discussed the magnitude of the confirmation and the challenges of being a "first" at anything.

"The confirmation is huge. For Justice Brown Jackson to be confirmed is confirmation for the legal community as a whole, especially the African-American community. It's continuing to show the world that the diversity in representation is necessary and required. We do have the body and brains to fill these positions," said Miller.

Jackson's confirmation follows a path set forth by Condoleezza Rice as the first Black woman to be named secretary of state, former President Barack Obama and current Vice President Kamala Harris, something Ashley Smith of Godfrey & Kahn says there are no words for.

"For me, this confirmation is very personal as a Black woman and a Black lawyer," said Smith, WAAL's president-elect. "To be alive for the first Black woman to be confirmed on SCOTUS, there are really no words to explain this moment. It's amazing for generations coming after me because this representation is going to be influential and inspiring for the little...

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