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'Pass her the gavel': Dallas group gathers in support of SCOTUS nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

A local group reflects as the historic Senate Judiciary Committee vote happens on the 54th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Credit: WFAA

DALLAS — A large group of community members gathered at UNT Dallas College of Law for a special breakfast on Monday.

Law students, lawyers, politicians and a host of Dallas residents gathered to celebrate Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson with a special "Pass Her the Gavel" community breakfast. 

Organizers scheduled the event as the Senate Judiciary Committee began the process to vote on the historic Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation.

“This is an historic moment. It’s one that I dreamed about as a little girl,” said Gaytha Davis as she watched the program.

Community members in attendance represented different generations and backgrounds. They’re among those who watched the confirmation hearings, and what some are describing as the insensitive line of interrogation Judge Jackson had to endure from certain senators over a period of days.

“As an African American female, I was sitting in the chair with her. When she cried, when Senator Booker was talking to her, the tears rolled down. So, I sat with her through that process, and I love her demeanor throughout the entire process,” said Judge Cheryl Williams.

As the Judiciary Committee began voting to send Jackson’s confirmation to full Senate vote, it’s timing was significant. 

Their vote happened on the 54th anniversary of the day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

“It means that there are doors that are no longer closed to me, the students of the Black Law Students Association, and the students of UNT Dallas College of Law,” law student Jessica Paige explained.

Jackson’s nomination and potential confirmation is reassuring for law students like Paige.

“Our country has a perspective, a fresh perspective, that they have never had before in the highest court of the land,” Paige said.

The Young Black Lawyers Organizing Coalition partnered with UNT Dallas College of Law to host the breakfast.

At the end of the Judiciary Committee’s vote on Monday, the committee was deadlocked by party lines. It’s expected Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will move to send the confirmation for a final Senate vote later this week.

As lawmakers continue the confirmation process, the Young Black Lawyers Coalition and its supporters say the conversations about this moment in history shall continue.

“We intend to take this conversation deep into the heart of our communities, to talk about the importance of judicial nominations, and to encourage our communities to lift their voices in the process,” said Abdul Dosunmu of the Young Black Lawyers Organizing Coalition.