Initiative is a clarion call by the Black legal community for a fair, equitable and timely
Senate confirmation process for Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson

DALLAS, TX, March 18, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — As the U.S. Senate prepares to consider the historic Supreme Court nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the Young Black Lawyers’ Organizing Coalition (YBLOC) and a coalition of organizations representing the Black legal community have launched “Pass Her the Gavel,” a letter-writing and public engagement campaign calling for a fair, equitable and timely confirmation process.

YBLOC is joined in the campaign by Black legal scholars, Black Law Students Associations, Black judges and a broad range of Black legal practitioners. The campaign encourages members of the Black legal community and Black communities at large to send letters to their senators urging that Judge Jackson is granted respect, civility and fairness by the Senate, and condemning discriminatory attacks on her sterling record and qualifications.

“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is exceptionally prepared to serve on the Supreme Court and has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to making the law fairer and more just,” said Abdul Dosunmu, founder and chief strategist of YBLOC. “We and our partners launched ‘Pass Her the Gavel’ to ensure that the Senate affords Judge Jackson the respect and fairness she is due as a trailblazing nominee to the highest court in the land.”

Dosunmu said the campaign also highlights the pioneering work of Black women in law and the importance of Judge Jackson’s historic nomination. “Unfortunately, the voices, experiences and perspectives of Black women have been systematically excluded from the Court’s judicial ranks for 232 years,” he said. “That changes with this nomination.”

“This nomination is an opportunity for our nation to create a more inclusive Supreme Court,” said Jessica Paige, a law student at the University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, and a steering committee member of the coalition. “Pass Her the Gavel’ ensures that decision-makers in the Senate know the significance of the nomination to those they represent.”

Coalition partner organizations for the effort include: The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), the Southwest Black Law Students Association (SWBLSA), the Northeastern Black Law Students Association (NEBLSA), the Western Region of the National Black Law Students Association (WRBLSA), the Midwestern (Midwest) Region of the National Black Law Students Association (MWBLSA), Law Students for Black Lives (LS4BL), and the Florida A&M University College of Law Student Bar Association.

“Pass Her the Gavel” aligns with YBLOC’s mission to build a community-centered movement to ensure inclusive democracy. As part of YBLOC’s ongoing grassroots efforts to protect and empower the Black electorate, the organization recently filed an amicus brief in LUPE, et al. v. Abbott, the federal lawsuit that challenges Texas’s voter suppression law, Senate Bill 1. YBLOC’s brief supports the plaintiffs’ challenge to the law, outlining how Senate Bill 1 harms Black voters and the civic organizations working to protect and empower them. Read YBLOC’s full amicus brief here.

YBLOC’s other advocacy includes a People’s Brief on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. During the 2020 general election, YBLOC led a seven-state voter protection campaign focused on protecting and empowering Black voters through community-centered voter education. The organization was involved in coordinating litigation to protect 132,000 absentee ballots in Arkansas that were at risk of not being counted due to the state’s arbitrary counting deadline.

The Young Black Lawyers’ Organizing Coalition (YBLOC) is a nonpartisan, community-centered movement of young Black lawyers and law students working to protect and empower Black voters through voter education, strategic advocacy and impact litigation. The national organization works in collaboration with Black grassroots communities to fight for full access to electoral democracy and realize full electoral voice.

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