“As a Black woman attorney, this moment in history is extremely meaningful to me,” Danielle Conley told ESSENCE.
Conley joins a group of Black women lawyers in the Biden administration who helped secure Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s seat on the Supreme Court of the United States, making Justice Jackson the first Black woman to serve in the court.
Ahead of Judge Jackson’s swearing in, ESSENCE went to the White House and sat down with four women— Conley, as well as Tona Boyd, Funmi Olorunnipa Badejo and Jaimie McFarlin— as they spoke about what her confirmation means to them.
In the Indian Treaty Room— the same room where Justice Jackson took portraits after her confirmation— they spoke of their roles in the process and their pride in seeing her rise to the highest court in the land.
“I went to Howard Law School, and grew up idolizing Thurgood Marshall,” Conley shared. “And [I] never thought that in my lifetime I’d see a Black woman be appointed to the Supreme Court and let alone get to work closely on the process of helping that woman get confirmed to the Supreme Court.”
“As a Black woman attorney, it was the honor of my career to help work to get Judge Jackson confirmed to the Supreme Court,” Tona Boyd, Special Counsel to the President, shared. “Each of us held our heads a little bit higher knowing that Judge Jackson is going to be put forward.”
Funmi Badejo, the former Associate Counsel to the President, told ESSENCE, “I’m excited that the next generation would be able to see a Black woman on the Supreme Court as they’re coming up.”
When asked how she would celebrate once Jackson is officially sworn in, Jaimie McFarlin, the Associate Counsel to the President, gave us an answer we could all relate to: “I’m so excited because I know the thread with my aunts is going to blow up, so I’m going to FaceTime them first.”
Watch the full video above as they extend their congratulations to Justice Jackson for her history-making achievement.
Photography by Elias Williams