Will Justice Jackson Judge Like Clarence Thomas Or Thurgood Marshall?

 Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson
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As the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson continues, one pivotal case in which Judge Jackson's decision is being scrutinized--and denounced is in: her rulings in the Ross v. Lockheed class-action lawsuit case brought by 5,500 Black plaintiffs who worked for Lockheed Martin. Judge Jackson was criticized by Black Alabama Judge U.W. Clemon who sent a letter to President Biden asking him not to nominate Judge Jackson. Some have said Judge Clemon's criticisms are baseless and that he has a conflict of interest in the Lockheed Martin case.

In the following piece, BlackEconomics.org founder Brooks Robinson presents some analysis on this issue.

It is common knowledge that Black Americans suffer adverse inequality in several socioeconomic categories: Criminal justice, economics, education, health, etc.

All of these categories assume relevance when considering Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to, and potential seating on, the US Supreme Court.

From a BlackEconomics.org perspective, justice/law and economics comprise the most germane categories given the burgeoning economics subfield—Law & Economics.

BlackEconomics.org Contributor, Lindsey “Rob” Robinson, identified law and economics concerns about Judge Jackson’s nomination. Accordingly, he presented a nine-page letter to US Senator Cory Booker, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will play a pivotal role in Judge Jackson’s confirmation. The letter is wide ranging, and, inter alia, draws stark parallels between President Joe Biden’s nomination of Judge Jackson and President George Bush’s nomination of then Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.

While we do not present the entire letter below, we provide selected and salient portions that have legal and economic import that should cast a shadow over Judge Jackson’s nomination.



These excerpts highlight Judge Jackson’s alignment with Justice Clarence Thomas and not with the late great Justice Thurgood Marshall. They also reflect her decision in a particularly important Federal District Court case involving a major US corporation that prevented thousands of Black Americans from seeking redress against claimed racial discriminatory practices by that corporation. The case had significant economic implications for Black Americans.

Justice Clarence Thomas

Justice Thurgood Marshall

The US is a very litigious society. However, Black Americans have learned how to use the law to obtain economic justice. It is through the courts that we may be able to force more institutions that have been called out forracial discriminatory practices to alter their practices.

 In the meantime, monetary judicial awards for those who have been discriminated against serve as a form of economic justice and may play a small role in narrowing the Black-White wealth gap. Also, the awards may motivate the nation to adopt a more just mindset.

Unfortunately, based on the above excerpts from “Rob” Robinson’s letter, it is not certain that Judge Jackson will play a favorable role in this regard.

If you desire access to the entire letter from “Rob” Robinson to Sen. Cory Booker, please write to: BlackEconomics@BlackEconomics.org.

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