WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 100 Black law students and public defenders from across the nation have been in Washington D. C for the historic confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Jackson’s hearing comes as less than 5 percent of attorneys nationwide are African American, according to the American Bar Association.
For law student Niya Young, this moment is inspirational. She said she wants to be public defender eventually a judge.
“It’s breathtaking - representation is so important,” said Young, a third-year law student at the University of Missouri School of Law.
Damon Davis was also one of the 100 Black law students who made the trip to D.C. He described the moment in one phrase.
“Hope – for the people I want to fight for,” he said.
This effort was organized by Demand Justice, the National Black Law Student Association, and the Black Public Defender Association.
For Davis, pursuing a career in law is personal.
“I served five years in a federal prison,” he said.
Davis was released in 2011 and now he wants to become a public defender like Jackson.
“She is a beacon of hope for people and people intend to represent in my career,” said Davis, third-year law student at University of Cincinnati College of Law.
This group, along with dozens of Black women public defenders rallied outside the supreme court ahead of Jackson’s hearing on Monday.
Young said this presence sends a message of support.
“Yes we are the minority but Black women have been at the forefront of our politics and our criminal justice system,” she said.
©2022 Cox Media Group