Ketanji Brown Jackson gets emotional, tells youth to ‘persevere’

Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson shed some tears during Wednesday’s confirmation hearing when she was asked what advice she would give to young people, recalling how she had a “tough” time adjusting to Harvard University when she first arrived, having come from Miami as a public school student surrounded by many others who had a prep school background at the Ivy League school.

“The first semester I was really homesick. I was really questioning, do I belong here? Can I make it in this environment? And I was walking through the yard in the evening and a Black woman I did not know was passing me on the sidewalk and she looked at me and I guess she knew how I was feeling and she leaned over as we crossed and said, ‘persevere,’” the nominee said, brushing away tears. “I would tell them to persevere.”

She also said she hopes to inspire others to take her same path “because I love this country, because I love the law, because I think it is important that we all invest in our future.” 

“The young people are the future and I want them to know that they can do and be anything,” she added.

If confirmed, Judge Jackson would be the first Black female Supreme Court justice. 

She would be the sixth female justice in history to have sat on the bench, and she would serve with three other women, which would be the most in U.S. history on the high court at one time. 

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