Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® Supports the Expedient Confirmation of A Black Woman To Become The Next United States Supreme Court Justice
by Glenda Glover, Ph.D., JD, CPA International President and CEO, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®
Founded in 1908 by African-American women who were service-minded scholars, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is comprised of professional women who have succeeded despite unimaginable odds to lead in every area of human endeavor. Sadly, however, there are still “firsts” to be achieved and glass ceilings that still must be shattered.
We are encouraged by the fact that with so many Black women serving as attorneys, state and federal judges, law clerks, public defenders, prosecutors, corporate counsel, law professors and non-profit lawyers ― all fighting on the frontlines of the ongoing struggle for justice and equality in America ― there have never been more qualified Black women ready to meet this moment. It has only been the glaring absence of opportunity that has stunted our progress and impeded the Supreme Court from reflecting the true diversity of these United States. We are now waiting with resigned anticipation that this glaring omission will be corrected with President Biden’s commitment to nominate the first Black woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court by the end of February.
We stand united in the continued fight for Black women to be represented in all arenas important to the progress of our nation, and we are ready to walk arm-in-arm with this administration every step of the way as some of the very best and brightest Black women judges and attorneys are identified, vetted, interviewed, and presented to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee.
Finally, we support swift confirmation hearings under the leadership of Senator Dick Durbin, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, leading to a fair vote for the chosen candidate. We also call for the highest level of professionalism befitting the institution and solemnity of the U.S. Senate and worthy of the ultimate nominee's qualifications and accomplishments for this sacred service.
To witness a Black women confirmed as a United States Supreme Court Justice for the first time in the Court's 233-year history will merely affirm what we all already know to be true. There are countless Black women in the legal field who have distinguished themselves as brilliant jurists, fierce advocates and venerable legal scholars and made tremendous sacrifices to shape the laws of the land and help secure justice for all. Charlotte E. Ray would be one case in point. Attorney Ray was the first African-American woman lawyer in the United States. She graduated from Howard University Law School in 1872 upon gaining admission under the name C.E. Ray and was the first woman admitted to the District of Columbia Bar 150 years ago. Described as a woman of “decided ability” and “one of the best lawyers on corporations in the country,” she was unable to sustain her legal practice and was eventually forced to return to teaching. However, Ray’s historic bar admission was the precedent that set the stage for the admission of countless other women to state bars around the country.
This confirmation of an African-American woman Supreme Court Justice will be a moment in time when at least one African-American woman will no longer be forced to abandon her dream and live beneath her privilege. We know for certain that this hallowed institution will be better with the appointment of an African-American woman. That fact serves us all well.