Kimberly Mutcherson, a co-dean and professor at Rutgers Law School, said that while the ideology of the Supreme Court does not change with the addition of new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, having the first Black woman take a seat on the bench brings new perspective.
“I think it is often the case imagine that folks can’t imagine things from a different perspective, and so having somebody who sits in that space, who has the same credentials that they do, who sits on the same court that they do, and who can describe the world from a different lens I think is incredibly meaningful,” Mutcherson said.
She said it matters to have different voices in the room when decisions are being made with real implications for all Americans.
“It doesn’t necessarily change how they vote. It at least changes how they have to think about some issues,” she said.
Joan Biskupic, a CNN analyst and a Supreme Court biographer, agreed that Jackson’s place on the court will make a big difference “in the dynamic around the table.” She compared it to how Justice Sandra Day O’Connor talked about the perspective that Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first Black justice, brought to the court.
She said Jackson brings several different layers of perspective to the table — her race, her age and her background as a federal public defender.
“She comes from almost the same sort of background that Steven Breyer does in terms of education, experience. They were both law clerks, they both have very prestigious degrees — but she has this important demographic difference, and she’s 51 years old. Stephen Breyer is 83, so she’s going to bring that also,” Biskupic said.