Think about It: Supremes or Super Heroes

Ocassionally, we like to get out of the day-to-day dogfight of politics. To dream big and think big thoughts, ponder grand ideas. Call it “whatifism” but just Think About It.

By Eli Valentin,
GCDP, Chair

As we see the Biden Administration team take shape, I am excited to see the commitment to diversity our new president has taken at the highest levels. His vision of an inclusive America, which the Democratic Party proudly embodies, was evident through his selection of Kamala Devi Harris as his running mate.  As a proud African-American and Asian-American, Kamala’s position worldwide is visible, palpable, and a bold sign to the world of women’s limitless possibilities in American political life.  

As you hopefully read in my Bray piece recently, representation matters and the highest Court in the land needs to have the experience, wisdom, and perspective of Black Women.  President Biden has committed to do so, and I couldn’t agree more!  It is a level of distinction in the legal community which African-American Women have not shattered, and it is long overdue.  

Here are three people who I would love to see.  There are so many other qualified and competent people.  All have of these phenomenal women have been mentioned in some form or fashion by pundits, reporters, and political operatives. 

Ketanji Brown Jackson

Educational Background: BA, Harvard University, magna cum laude Harvard; Law degree, Harvard University, cum laude and editor of the Harvard Law Review .

Professional Background:  Brown Jackson was just nominated by President Biden to fill Merrick Garland’s seat on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

Public Service: Justice, US District Court for the District of Columbia (2013 – present), Vice-Chair US Sentencing Commission (2009 -2014), Assistant Special Counsel to United States Sentencing Commission (2003 – 2005). Private Sector: Private practice attorney.

Political Reason:  With her appointment and the appointment of Merrick Garland as US Attorney General, President Biden would have two new slots to appoint in the DC Metro Area. Though her nomination would make history, she is the most traditional choice among the names here as she would be coming from the bench to serve as the next justice. 

Sherilyn Ifill  

Educational Background: BA, Vassar College; Law degree, New York University.

Professional Background:

Public Service: President and Direct-Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (2013 – present), Associate Counsel at NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Postgraduate Fellow at ACLU, Interned at United Nations and for Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. (first African-American US District Court Judge). Private Sector:  Law School Professor at University of Maryland School of Law, author.

Political Reason: Appointing Ifill to a seat on the Supreme Court would signal progress to the American Criminal Justice system. Her legacy of fighting for voting rights at the organization founded by the first African American to sit on the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, would deepen the Biden Administration’s commitment to confronting racial inequities in bold ways.   

Stacey Abrams

Educational Background: BA, Spellman University; Master’s degree, University of Texas, Law degree, Yale University.

Professional Background:  

Public Service: Founder of Fair Fight Action (2018 – present), Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate 2018, Minority Leader Georgia House (2011 – 2017), George House Member (2007 – 2017), Deputy City Attorney for the City of Atlanta. 

Political Reason: I said it before, and it bears repeating, the Democratic Party should give Stacey Abrams whatever she wants. Her ascending to the highest court in the land would bolster grassroots activists and activism across this country. She would acknowledge the hard work she has done to get us a majority and the presidency. At just 47 years old, imagine the possibilities as her grit and immense intellectual capacity would affect the court for decades.  

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