Wisconsin women reflect on Ketanji Brown Jackson Court nomination, w/ student Beauchamp-Pope and alumna Davis

A historic first is likely to occur this week, with a Black female justice confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court 233 years after its creation.Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer comes after President Joe Biden promised to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, saying it was “long overdue.”To Black female attorneys across the country and in Wisconsin, it will be an inspiration.”It’s monumental. It is a moment that we can’t deny,” Dane County Circuit Court Judge Nia Trammell told the USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. “Jackson has earned her place in history.”Trammell became the first Black woman in the Dane County Circuit Court’s 172-year history to sit on the bench after being appointed by Gov. Tony Evers in August 2020. Wisconsin now has 10 female judges who are Black, the most in its history, but only 33 Black women are enrolled as students in the state’s two law schools.

…Hannah Beauchamp-Pope is a democracy and justice studies student at UW-Green Bay and plans to attend law school. She told the USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin that a lack of representation in high-ranking roles often discourages minority women from entering the legal field.

“Young women, especially young minorities, feel a lack of political efficacy, and a lot of that has to do with lack of representation,” she said.

Beauchamp-Pope emphasized that Jackson’s nomination is an achievement that Black women across the country are celebrating, but it’s also a reminder of the long history of their lack of representation.

…Marquette Law School student Jada Davis said it’s important for the judiciary to finally “acknowledge the talents and intellect of Black women.”

Davis was recently selected as the first Black Miss Milwaukee and said she wants to be a trailblazer for young girls of color in Milwaukee. She said it’s important for girls of color to have role models that look like them to prove they can be successful in leadership roles.

“The more you see yourself in other people the more confidence you’ll have to do those same things or go after what you want,” she said.

Beauchamp-Pope wants to attend law school to look at how rehabilitation in the legal system treats minorities. She believes that rehabilitation starts with representation.

The implicit biases that come from a lack of diverse perspectives can lead to minorities feeling there is a system that doesn’t represent their interests or wellbeing.

That’s why the addition of a Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court matters, Beauchamp-Pope said.

“Law affects us everywhere we go,” she said. “To have different perspectives at the table is extremely important.”

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