NAPD applauds the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court. We welcome the diversity that Judge Jackson’s career and lived experience will bring to the bench. NAPD is especially proud that a fellow public defender may soon serve on the nation’s highest court—a court long dominated by former prosecutors and corporate attorneys.

The criminal legal system has an significant influence over American life: the fiscal impact of having the world’s highest rate of incarceration and raw number of incarcerated people; the devastating impact it has on vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color; the vast scope of collateral consequences that attach to having contact with the criminal legal system (including, importantly, voting disenfranchisement); and, the way that it informs our societal values of fairness, equity, and access to justice. Across the country, public defenders represent nearly 90|PERCENT| of all criminal defendants, yet no sitting Supreme Court Justice brings public defense experience to the bench.

We hope that Judge Jackson’s confirmation process is respectful and expedient.