Monday, March 7, 2022
Candice Norwood of The 19th News published an informative article titled 41 years before Ketanji Brown Jackson, Amalya Lyle Kearse was Considered for the Supreme Court.
As the country prepares to watch the confirmation process for the first Black woman nominated to the nation’s highest court, The 19th revisits Kearse, who was the first Black woman judge on an appellate court and who still sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. She was considered for a Supreme Court nomination by three different presidents, the first Black woman on record to receive such recognition. Kearse was a key figure in paving the way for Black women judges, who even with the high-profile nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court are underrepresented on the U.S. judiciary.
“Amalya Kearse’s existence on President Reagan’s shortlist over 40 years ago is concrete evidence that for as long as women have been allowed to be on the Supreme Court, there have been Black women who have been qualified to be there, and it is a long time coming to finally have that fulfilled,” said Renee Knake Jefferson, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center and co-author of the book “Shortlisted: Women in the Shadows of the Supreme Court.”
Read the article in full for an informative summary of her career.