BASF Press Release

Ketanji Brown Jackson Makes History As First African American Woman on the Supreme Court

Judge Brown Jackson set to become Justice Brown Jackson later this year

April 8, 2022, San Francisco—The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) congratulates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on her historic confirmation to the United States Supreme Court. As the 116th Supreme Court Justice, Brown Jackson will be the first African American woman to be elevated to the position.

Brown Jackson will be sworn in as an associate justice after Justice Stephen Breyer retires at the end of the Court's term, which is expected to be this summer. She will also be the first federal public defender to sit on the court and the first justice since Thurgood Marshall to represent criminal defendants.

"This is a day of joyous celebration. Brown Jackson is exceptionally qualified and uniquely suited to serve," said Yolanda Jackson, BASF’s Executive Director and General Counsel, who initially started with BASF as the Association's first Diversity Director in 2007. "Breaking barriers for women and attorneys of color is a cornerstone of BASF’s mission. I'm proud that we have expanded access and opportunities for aspiring legal professionals here in San Francisco and excited to continue to do so. We are proud to celebrate this historic occasion for our country, our justice system and for the legal profession as Justice Brown Jackson assumes the bench."

Brown Jackson worked for several private law firms, but she spent most of her legal career in the public sector both as a lawyer and judge. She clerked for two federal judges and held a Supreme Court clerkship for Justice Breyer during the 1999-2000 term.

“This appointment will strengthen the Supreme Court as a democratic institution during this time of great challenge to its public perception,” said Mary McNamara, BASF Board President. “Justice Brown Jackson will bring her unique and much-needed perspective as a former public defender to the court.”

Vice President Kamala Harris, the first African American woman to serve as the Vice President of the United States and a past board member of The Bar Association of San Francisco (2002), presided over the Senate Chamber during the historic vote in her capacity as President of the Senate.

Congratulations to President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Judge Brown Jackson on making history!

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of attorneys, law students, and legal professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF enjoys the support of more than 7,500 individuals, law firms, corporate legal departments, and law schools. BASF provides a collective voice for public advocacy, advances professional growth and education, and attempts to elevate the standards of integrity, honor, and respect in the practice of law.