April 8, 2022


GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to limit debate after a contentious weeks-long debate battle, and later confirmed Jackson with a 53-47 vote. Three Republicans joined Democrats in the evenly divided senate, voting to confirm Jackson: Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney. Jackson will be the first Black woman and first public defender to sit on the court when she is sworn in this summer.

Quote from Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD:

“LGBTQ rights are under attack all across this country, and today’s confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court is a critical step to ensure our hard-won progress is not reversed by those using the courts to fight outdated culture wars. Judge Jackson’s experience and judicial temperament will make her one of the most qualified justices ever to serve on the Court. GLAAD congratulates Judge Jackson and our entire nation on this historic and long overdue representation.”

Ellis also responded to the nomination on Twitter.

Judge Jackson’s career includes experience as a federal judge and a federal public defender, and staunch protector of essential civil and human rights important to LGBTQ Americans, including defending and upholding fair sentencing practices, disability rights, workers’ rights, immigrants’ rights, reproductive justice, and environmental protections. In a March poll, two-thirds of Americans said they supported Jackson’s confirmation. Another poll in early April showed that Jackson has more support from Americans than any of former president Donald Trump’s nominees to the court.

During Judge Jackson’s Senate confirmation hearings, senators on the committee criticized the landmark marriage equality case Obergefell v Hodges, repeatedly raised racist questions to the nation’s first Black female Supreme Court nominee and misrepresented her sentencing record, and used the hearing to spread misinformation about transgender people.

GLAAD has tracked the anti-LGBTQ history of several committee members via the GLAAD Accountability Project, including Marsha Blackburn, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Josh Hawley, Mike Lee, and Thom Tillis.

Sen. Graham, who led the contentious and rushed confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, said, “If we get back the Senate, and we're in charge of this body, and there's judicial openings, we will talk to our colleagues on the other side. But if we were in charge, [Jackson] would not have been before this committee." Sen. Graham voted to confirm Judge Jackson to the DC Circuit Court last year.

Supreme Court decisions expanding and upholding LGBTQ equality include:

Bostock v Clayton County (2020) - expanded Civil Rights employment protections

Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) - granted marriage equality

United States v. Windsor (2013) - overturned the discriminatory “Defense of Marriage Act”

Lawrence v. Texas (2003)- secured the Constitutional right to privacy and dignity for LGBTQ people and relationships

Romer v. Evans (1995) - struck down state laws banning LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections