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U.S. Law Enforcement Officials Endorse Ketanji Brown Jackson in Letter to Lawmakers Urging SCOTUS Confirmation

U.S. Law Enforcement Officials Endorse Ketanji Brown Jackson in Letter to Lawmakers Urging SCOTUS Confirmation

Dozens of the nation’s top law enforcement officials have signed a letter, which was released on Monday, urging the U.S. Senate to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.

Judge Jackson, who would be the first Black woman named to the nation’s highest court, was nominated last month by President Joe Biden to fill the seat of Justice Stephen Breyer, who is retiring. A former clerk of Breyer’s, Judge Jackson began meeting privately with both Republican and Democratic lawmakers last week, with more meetings scheduled for Tuesday.

Those named in the letter represent the nation’s biggest and busiest police departments and courts. While it’s unusual for police officials to engage so specifically in politics, the signers to the letter include former New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton and former NYPD official Ben Tucker, who just retired as the highest-ranking Black official in the nation’s largest police department. Other signers include current law enforcement officials like Sheriff Peter Koutoujian of Middlesex County, New Jersey; Oakland, California, Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong; Savannah, Georgia, Chief of Police Roy Minter; Beth McCann, District Attorney in Denver; and Karl Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia. Top policing academics also signed the letter.

“As members of the law enforcement community, we write in recognition of Judge Jackson’s strong, effective and long-standing role in criminal justice issues,” wrote the 63 officials from around the country in the letter sent to the House Judiciary Committee.

The letter cites Jackson’s history with law enforcement. Growing up in Miami, her uncle was the city’s police chief and another uncle was a sex crimes detective. Her father was an attorney. “Such direct familiarity with the experiences and challenges of law enforcement enriches her understanding of criminal justice issues,” the letter states. Jackson has also worked as a federal public defender as well as for the U.S. Sentencing Commission and the federal judiciary, and has been praised by defense attorney groups.

Jackson has also won the support of the Fraternal Order of Police, the largest law enforcement labor organization in the United States, with more than 356,000 members. President Patrick Yoes said the union was “reassured” by her record and history and “should she be confirmed, she would approach her future cases with an open mind and treat issues related to law enforcement fairly and justly.”

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