Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is the oldest fraternity for African American college men, founded by seven visionary men in 1906 at Cornell University. The fraternity currently has over 200,000 members in its collegiate and alumni ranks and includes in its illustrious history such visionary leaders as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. For over 115 years, we have provided impactful service and advocacy for our communities. Therefore, we are proud to endorse the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court.  

On February 25, 2022, President Joe Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the 116th Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and the first African American woman to hold that position.  The historical significance of this nomination cannot be overstated.  

The United States Supreme Court was established by the United States Constitution, but began to take shape with the passage of the Judiciary Act of 1789 and the first assembly in 1790.  Since that time, the Court has been centerstage for some of the most consequential decisions that impact all aspects of American life.  The Court has evolved over the years, in part as a reflection of cultural norms.  In 1857, the Supreme Court in Dred Scott v. Sanford stated that African Americans “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”  In 1896, the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine.  In 1954, the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruled that racial segregation in public schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits the states from denying equal protection of the laws to any person within their jurisdictions. 

These highlighted decisions underscore the impact of the Supreme Court to either reinforce injustice or to ensure that all Americans (no matter their color, sex, or other status) enjoy all the freedoms that the United States Constitution guarantees her citizens.  We believe that a United States Supreme Court that reflects the full diversity of America is best positioned to appreciate all perspectives of its citizens, render judgements on questions of constitutionality with a full lens, and safeguards the progress achieved to date.    

The men of Alpha Phi Alpha believe that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court properly reflects the reality that there are scores of African American women who have the requisite knowledge and expertise to sit on the highest court in the land.  Judge Jackson’s qualifications to serve as a Justice of the Supreme Court are undeniable.  She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, then attended Harvard Law School, where she graduated cum laude and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.  After law school, Judge Jackson served in Justice Breyer’s chambers as a law clerk.  Professionally, Judge Jackson has broad experience across the legal profession – as a federal appellate judge, a federal district court judge, a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an attorney in private practice, and as a federal public defender.  

As one of the premier fraternal organizations in the United States with a long history of advocacy, we express our unequivocal support for this historic nomination and confirmation.  We will collaborate with other groups that also believe that the United States Supreme Court should represent the talent that exists in all corners of America.  The Supreme Court has been in existence for over 230 years, and the nomination and confirmation of Judge Jackson are long overdue.  We remain steadfast in our conviction that we are on the right side of history and will mobilize our Brothers to conduct direct advocacy that engages the United States Senate to confirm Judge Jackson to the United States Supreme Court without delay. 


About Alpha Phi Alpha

The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., headquartered in Baltimore, MD, was founded on December 4, 1906, at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. The Fraternity has long stood at the forefront of the African-American community’s fight for civil rights through Alpha men such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, Thurgood Marshall, Paul Robeson, Andrew Young, Edward Brooke and Cornel West. The fraternity, through its more than 720 college and alumni chapters and general-organization members, serves communities in the United States, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Visit and follow on Twitter @apa1906network.