I’m calling on our federal delegation to support the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve as an associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. This confirmation will not only make history as the first African-American woman nominated to serve as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, it is also very important to recognize that this is the nomination of a person who brings strong qualifications, an understanding of America today, and experience to make future far-reaching, fair, and wise judicial decisions.
As an Alaska Native woman, mother, wife, tribal member, ANCSA shareholder and voter who has lived all my life in Alaska, I see the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as an opportunity to carve pathways to overcome many challenges that I see in our country and our state. I have worked over 40 years in Alaska, and my MBA afforded me opportunities to serve in for-profit and nonprofit executive management roles that affect urban and rural communities. My career has also allowed me to serve on state and local boards supporting workforce development, Alaska Native justice, tribal sovereignty and education in Alaska. As a retiree, I currently serve on the Board of Directors for Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) and Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN), and I’m avidly working to support causes that are important to me and will affect the future of Alaska. My work has given me a lifetime of insight into the issues we face as a state—specifically through the lens of an Alaska Native and a woman—and I believe Ketanji Brown Jackson will help us navigate the challenges we face.
As an Alaska Native, I have seen many state and federal court decisions that affect Native children, Alaska tribes, land and rights. Our tribes need a conscience on our highest court who is willing to keep important historical commitments when ruling on Supreme Court decisions that will affect Alaska’s First People, and I believe Kentanji Brown Jackson will be that conscience. Alaska Natives are still working hard to overcome the years of discrimination through the legal system resulting in the confiscating children and eradicating culture and subsistence rights. The trauma of these injustices in all forms, still exists in Alaska Native victims walking among us in our urban and rural communities today. The long held government-to-government relationship between the federal government and tribes today simply ebbs and flows with politics. In order to continue to heal, we must have certainty that our lives and our culture are valued at the highest level of our government.
As a woman, I strongly support a woman’s right to choose regarding abortion. Women should have the right to make decisions about their body, their family planning and their future. In my life, I have held confidential conversations with Native women who had to choose a path toward economic security which involved a thoughtful plan for education/career vs. an unexpected pregnancy and maternal love for an unborn child. Needless to say, I want the Supreme Court Justices to rule in support for all women who aptly can and will make that difficult, deeply personal choice for themselves. I am confident Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is a woman who understands.
As a nation, we need Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a highly qualified, minority woman who will create a stronger balance on the Supreme Court. It is comforting to know that we have an opportunity to not only put a highly qualified minority woman on the Supreme Court, but we also have a person who is renowned for her careful, methodical approach to ensuring equal justice under the law on reproductive rights, disability rights and workers’ rights. It is undeniable that the depth and breadth of her experience as well as the bipartisan support she has received in the past – due in large part to her measured and thoughtful approach will make her an excellent Supreme Court Justice. Please vote to confirm the appointment of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.