New Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Will Deal With Culture-War Showdowns As Supreme Court Loads Docket

On February 25, President Joe Biden nominated U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United State Supreme Court. She is the first Black woman selected to serve on the Supreme Court. The nomination to the Supreme Court is indeed historical in that she is being nominated to the highest court in the land that declared decades ago that her race was unworthy of citizenship and endorsed American segregation.

In making the nomination, President Biden delivered on his campaign promis made exactly 2 years ago to the date and he declared:

“I believe it’s time that we have a court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation. … Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has a pragmatic understanding that the law must work for the American people. … She strives to be fair, to get it right, to do justice.”

Judge Jackson, 51, if confirmed by the Senate, will be the Supreme Court’s second African American member joining the conservative Judge Clarence Thomas, and she will be just the third in history. She would be only the 6th woman to serve on the court, but would join 3 others already there, including the first Latina, Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She replaces liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, who is retiring at the end of the current term . She will not change the court’s 6-3 conservative majority.

Judge Jackson had this to say:

“I must begin these very brief remarks by thanking God for delivering me to this point in my professional journey. My life has been blessed beyond measure and I do know that one can only come this far by faith. Among my many blessings, and indeed the very first, is the fact that I was born in this great country. … The United States of America is the greatest beacon of hope and democracy the world has ever known. I was also blessed from my early days to have had a supportive and loving family. My mother and father, who have been married for 54 years, are at their home in Florida right now and I know that they could not be more proud.

I am humbled by the extraordinary honor of this nomination. If I’m fortunate enough to be confirmed as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, I can only hope that my life and career, my love of this country and the Constitution, and my commitment to upholding the rule of law and the sacred principles upon which this great nation was founded, will inspire future generations of Americans.”

In her remarks, Jackson highlighted her family’s first-hand experience with the entirety of the legal system. Born in D.C. but raised in Miami, Jackson comes from an elite legal pedigree as a graduate of Harvard Law School but also has experience representing everyday Americans in the legal system as a federal public defender. In her family are judges and lawyers, an uncle who was Miami’s police chief and another who was imprisoned on drug charges. Jackson once worked as one of Justice Breyer’s law clerks early in her legal career. She would be the high court’s first former public defender. She attended Harvard as an undergraduate and for law school, and served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the agency that develops federal sentencing policy, before becoming a federal judge in 2013.

Links to quoted source material are here:


On February 22, Bloomburg published on line an excellent article written by its “Politics and Equality” reporter Greg Stohr. The article is an excellent summation of the major cases the United State Supreme Court will be ruling upon in the next few months, all cases that US Supreme Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be ruling upon.

Below is the Bloomburg article followed by the link:

“The U.S. Supreme Court is aggressively filling its calendar with culture-war clashes, taking up fights over abortion, gay rights, guns, affirmative action and voting rights at the behest of conservative advocates looking to take advantage of a bench reshaped by former President Donald Trump.

With three Trump appointees giving it a 6-3 conservative majority, the court is putting aside objections that many of the cases don’t meet the traditional standards for review.

The newest case accepted on [February 22] could let some businesses refuse to take part in same-sex weddings. The court will hear an appeal from a web designer who opposes gay marriage on religious grounds and says the Constitution’s free-speech clause entitles her to an exemption from a Colorado anti-discrimination law. The court took the case even though officials haven’t tried to enforce the law against her.

Here’s what else is on the agenda, starting with six cases likely to be decided in the current term, scheduled to end in late June:


In the highest-profile case of its term, the court is considering overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision and letting states outlaw abortion.

During arguments Dec. 1, the court’s six conservatives all suggested they were likely to uphold a Mississippi ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy. And five signaled they were interested in going further and eliminating the constitutional right to abortion altogether.

The ruling will come in a term in which the justices have already allowed an unusual Texas law that uses private lawsuits to prohibit abortion after six weeks.


The court is poised to issue its biggest Second Amendment ruling in more than a decade, potentially establishing a constitutional right to carry a handgun in public. Advocates are challenging a New York law that requires people to show a special reason to get a concealed-carry permit.
New York is one of eight states with laws that the National Rifle Association says prevent most people from legally carrying a handgun in public. Arguments Nov. 3 suggested the court might strike down the New York law while leaving room for states to bar weapons in sensitive places, such as courthouses and schools.


The court hears arguments next week on a bid by coal companies and Republican-led states to curb the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to tackle climate change. The case could undercut President Joe Biden’s pledge to halve greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade.

The court accepted the case, which stems from litigation over a Trump-era rule, even though Biden’s EPA hasn’t yet proposed a plan to cut greenhouse emissions from the power plants at the center of the case.


The Biden administration is trying to end a Trump policy that requires asylum applicants to remain in Mexico while their cases are being processed. The current administration was able to rescind the policy briefly before a Trump-appointed judge ordered it reinstated and a panel of three Republican-appointed judges affirmed.

That left the administration with little choice but to turn to the Supreme Court, even though the justices had already rejected the administration on an emergency basis. The court has said arguments will be during the last week of April.


During arguments Dec. 8, the court’s conservative wing signaled it was poised to strengthen the rights of parents to use public dollars to pay tuition at religious schools. The case concerns a Maine program that covers the cost of private education in areas without public schools but bars use of the funds at institutions that promote religion.


The court has agreed to hear an appeal from a football coach who lost his job at a public high school in Washington state after repeatedly praying alongside his players on the 50-yard line after games. The coach says the prayers were private religious expression while the school district says some students felt coerced into taking part.

The court hasn’t said when it will hear arguments. But the Jan. 14 decision to grant review gives the justices time to hear the case in April and rule this term.


The court next term will use cases involving Harvard College and the University of North Carolina to consider abolishing the use of race in college admissions decisions. A group run by a longtime opponent of racial preferences is urging the court to overturn precedents that let universities consider race as a way to diversify their campuses.

Affirmative action is common at selective universities, though nine states including California and Florida ban race-conscious admissions at public institutions.


In another case set for next term, the court will consider insulating states and local governments from claims that their voting maps discriminate against minority voters. The justices will review a ruling that said the Voting Rights Act required Alabama to include a second heavily Black district in its congressional map.

A divided high court blocked the ruling early this month, restoring a Republican-drawn map with just one majority-Black district out of seven for the November election.”

The link to the quoted Bloomberg article is here:

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Pete Dinelli was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of Italian and Hispanic descent. He is a 1970 graduate of Del Norte High School, a 1974 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a 1977 graduate of St. Mary's School of Law, San Antonio, Texas. Pete has a 40 year history of community involvement and service as an elected and appointed official and as a practicing attorney in Albuquerque. Pete and his wife Betty Case Dinelli have been married since 1984 and they have two adult sons, Mark, who is an attorney and George, who is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Pete has been a licensed New Mexico attorney since 1978. Pete has over 27 years of municipal and state government service. Pete’s service to Albuquerque has been extensive. He has been an elected Albuquerque City Councilor, serving as Vice President. He has served as a Worker’s Compensation Judge with Statewide jurisdiction. Pete has been a prosecutor for 15 years and has served as a Bernalillo County Chief Deputy District Attorney, as an Assistant Attorney General and Assistant District Attorney and as a Deputy City Attorney. For eight years, Pete was employed with the City of Albuquerque both as a Deputy City Attorney and Chief Public Safety Officer overseeing the city departments of police, fire, 911 emergency call center and the emergency operations center. While with the City of Albuquerque Legal Department, Pete served as Director of the Safe City Strike Force and Interim Director of the 911 Emergency Operations Center. Pete’s community involvement includes being a past President of the Albuquerque Kiwanis Club, past President of the Our Lady of Fatima School Board, and Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation.