Locals gather in support for Ketanji Brown Jackson’s first day of judiciary hearings

Miami-Dade lawyers, educators, and sorority sisters, come out to be part of a nationwide gathering to show their support for Miami-Dade judge in line for supreme court.

MIAMi, Fla. – Miami-Dade lawyers, educators, and sorority sisters came to watch part of history being made as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, appeared for days-long hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.

Jackson is very much a South Florida story and a group who gathered in Opa-locka, part of a nationwide gathering of the Black Women’s Leadership Collective, showed their proud support.

Attorney Yolanda Cash Jackson said: “For any young Black girl from Miami-Dade College that went to Miami-Dade College Public Schools, who dared to be a lawyer, dared to go to Harvard, who dared to become a judge and been before this body three other times. Yes, it is history.”

Jackson is the daughter of a Miami-Dade High School principal and school board attorney, and the niece of former Miami police chief Calvin Ross.

Long-time friend Miami lawyer Stephen Rosenthal shared with Local 10 News Palmetto High School yearbook photos from the mid-1980s. They were both voted already most likely to succeed. Brown Jackson’s art of the argument on the debate team might have been the most telling.

“Ketanji was an absolutely gifted speaker and writer. (She) will be characteristically diplomatic and poised and unruffled in the way that she responds,” he said. Rosenthal said he is headed to D.C. to watch the historic hearings firsthand.

Some of Monday’s questioning didn’t sit well among many in the group gathered in Opa-locka Monday.

Bernice Shorter-Mears of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority felt that some of the questioning had to due with her being a Black woman and that someone else seated in the chair may have been treated differently.

“I didn’t think it would be so blatantly disrespectful to her.”

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."