by IRENE FOWLER, Contributor
The argument has been vociferously advanced against limiting the appointment of the next U.S. Supreme Court justice, to a qualified pool of black women, since they comprise about 7% of the population. This is my response.
First, every black woman is also part of the majority of Americans –women are 50.8% of the U.S. population, and women had zero representation on the Supreme Court until Sandra Day O’Connor was appointed in 1981 – there had been 192 years of Men Only on the highest court in the land since 1789.
There was no argument put forward about what a small group Clarence Thomas represented when he was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1991, and at that time, he only represented 6½% of the U.S. population.
The ‘7%,’ and other members of their race, shouldered an outsized, inordinate, gargantuan, burden of human, societal and national development, in the U.S. for centuries – in chains, and other subhuman conditions (too many to enumerate). Suffice it to say, the black race was considered to be 3/5th human; this status-quo-ante was codified and settled law. The Three-Fifths Compromise was an agreement reached during the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention, over the counting of slaves in determining a state’s total population.
To read the rest of Irene’s essay, and her new poem “A Black Woman SCOTUS Justice” click:
The institutional injustices, inequities, and deep-festering injuries – many fatal, most if not all; severely damaging to the minds, bodies and spirits, of members of the black race, continue to this present day.
This situation is compounded by the fact that the Department of Homeland Security has identified white supremacy, and concomitant domestic terrorism, as the foremost threat confronting the nation. I write in the wake of over 20 bomb threats made to Historically Black Colleges and Universities nationwide. The black race in 2022, is still bearing an outsized, hellish burden, of U.S. national development and societal cohesion.
Enough with the ‘7 percent’ bleaters. The outrage is unreasonable, uncharitable and unbecoming.
In conclusion: I have every confidence that Biden’s SCOTUS appointee, will be eminently qualified and will do the nation proud.
CONGRATULATIONS to President Biden’s nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since June of 2021. From 2013 until 2021, she served as a United States District Judge, and until December of 2014, she also served as a Vice Chair and Commissioner on the United States Sentencing Commission.
Judge Jackson is currently a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on Defender Services, as well as on the Board of Overseers of Harvard University, and the Council of the American Law Institute. She also currently serves on the United States Supreme Court Fellows Commission.
Judge Jackson received a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1996, where she served as a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. She received an A.B., magna cum laude, in Government from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1992.
A Black Woman SCOTUS Justice
by Irene Fowler
Justice is righteous, honest, respectable and decent
Justice zealously and jealously protects the rule of law
Justice is fairly applied, to all and sundry
Justice remedies past and present wrongs
Justice forstalls and prevents future harms, dangers and inequities
Justice mends and knits societies; large and small
Justice mirrors and reflects the diverse pool of humanity
Justice stands for the least among us
Justice mandates order and cohesion
Justice serves diverse groups, communities and interests
Justice holds a balance scale, considering solely, that which is right; and not might
Justice exalts truth, reason, logic and morality
Justice demands relief, redress and restitution
Justice is neither fickle, feckless nor erratic
Justice is rock solid, carved in stone
Justice is a downward flowing river
Justice is colourless and transparent
Justice is not driven by hidden, opaque agendas
Justice tempers judgement with mercy
Justice is fairer than the moon, and, as bright sunlight
Justice answers to a supra-natural, higher power; invisible and eternal
JUSTICE, to be all of the above, is best served by the appointment of a black woman SCOTUS justice.
© 2022 by Irene Fowler