The time is now for a Black woman Supreme Court Justice. From ending police violence and racial profiling to advocating for healthcare access, Black womxn have shown up for our democracy, for our protests, and for our community. We have demonstrated that we are not only in support of policies and laws that will improve the lives of all Americans, but we are also willing to fight for them.
She Will Rise.
Systemic racism in America persists, in part, because our courts, legislatures, and civil services have always been predominantly white and male. There have been 114 Supreme Court justices, but only four womxn and three justices of color.
The white male experience has defined the moral compass that undergirds our laws and policies. As the nation grows more diverse, the imperative to change the status quo is more urgent than ever. In a democracy of, for, and by the people, freedom and liberty can’t be delivered to all until our institutions authentically reflect the extraordinary diversity of people, perspectives, and contributions that make our country special.
The Supreme Court would benefit from a Black woman justice sharing her point of view in deliberation with colleagues, to foster a more complete awareness of the variety of litigants and communities future rulings may impact disproportionately.
Inspired by Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise,” #SheWillRise represents the shared voice and determination of Black womxn in our pursuit to see the first Black woman confirmed to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Marginalized communities in the U.S., particularly communities of color, have been denied basic civil rights as a result of Supreme Court rulings that have not appropriately valued their needs and experiences. New cases with broad socio-economic implications in access to healthcare, voting, and other civil rights are headed for the Court and would benefit from a Black woman justice.
For example, the Supreme Court should act to protect the ability of people to vote and have their vote counted, but over the past decade, the Court has been an opponent of voting rights. During this pandemic, the Supreme Court has stepped in to prevent states from taking common sense steps to enable people to vote safely, forcing Americans to choose between their health and exercising their right to vote. In 2013, the Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, and its ruling has disproportionately impacted Black voters and voters who live at the intersections of multiple marginalized identities: polling places have been closed in our communities, restrictive voter ID laws disenfranchise us, and Black voters are being disproportionately purged from the voter rolls.
If we don’t push for a Black woman Supreme Court Justice, we are complicit in the further erosion of the integrity of our courts.
She Will Rise is an initiative of Demand Justice working to ensure greater equality in America by ensuring a Black woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time ever.