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NAACP leader in Luzerne County hopes SCOTUS Nom. Jackson makes more history

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first African American woman nominated for a seat on the Supreme Court was back taking questions in front of Congress on Tuesday.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — In the second round of confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Jackson on her beliefs and previous judgments. 

Though she still has a ways to go before confirmation, an NAACP leader in Luzerne County said seeing her on the high court could inspire a new generation.

Jimel Calliste is the President of the Wilkes-Barre arm of the NAACP.

"I think for the NAACP, we've definitely wanted to get people involved in local politics and local government," Calliste said. "I think this is one of the victories that we can hang our hat on and just show them that anything is possible. If you want to get involved, you can, and there will be spaces for them to do that."

Calliste said Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination was an exciting moment. In the weeks since he's been impressed by what he's seen and feels the judge has the strength to be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

"Some of her friends said this is nothing. This is going to be a walk in the park for her," Calliste said. "Like I said, she's overqualified, Harvard grad, Harvard law, she served almost a decade at every level of the justice system. I think she's very prepared."

On Tuesday, Republican Senators questioned whether Judge Jackson is hard enough on criminals in her rulings, a notion she rejected. Democratic Senators say her record shows she's fair and just.

If confirmed, Calliste believes Jackson's work as a public defender will be important.

"A lot of the clients she's probably had to deal with have had different perspectives on law and just dealing with judges. That has probably made her a bit more compassionate," he said. "She probably will be able to provide that experience when she's in the room, and they're going over different topics, whether that be civil rights or democracy, whatever the case may be."

Calliste wants to see Jackson make history again and become the first black woman on the Supreme Court. 

"We were able to see Thurgood Marshall be added to the Supreme Court," he said. "I think for young women, young black women, women period, to see themselves in that space, I think it's going to be beautiful."

Judge Jackson has two more days of grilling ahead of her. The confirmation hearings will continue through Thursday. 

Democrats want to confirm Jackson before Easter recess on April 8, but GOP Senators are expected to keep turning up the heat as the questioning continues. 

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