Public Info

Union County Commissioner Board Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson

head shot of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Union County, NJ – April 8, 2022 — The Union County Board of County Commissioners celebrates and commemorates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first African-American woman to be nominated and confirmed as a U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice in the 233-year history of the Court, marking Thursday, April 7th, as a unique and powerful moment in American history.

The Commissioner Board stated: The nomination and confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is a history-making milestone in the progress our nation has made towards realizing the ideal of equality articulated by our nation’s founders.

The Union County town of Hillside has itself become a symbol of that progress, as demonstrated on Monday, April 4th, when U.S. Senator Robert Menendez chose Hillside as the first and only site in New Jersey for a press conference in support of Judge Jackson’s nomination.

The nomination and confirmation of Judge Jackson is especially meaningful for those of us in New Jersey, who aspire to serve the public in elected office.

Just two years ago, every County Commissioner, no matter what race or gender, was burdened with the colonial-era title of Freeholder, a continuing symbol of the power of white, male American citizens to own property, including slaves.

The Freeholder title stood for centuries as a discouragement to the public service aspirations of young African-American women and other people of color. Finally, it is no more.

We are proud to represent the people of Union County community as a diverse, majority-woman Commissioner Board, and we are proud that the “NJ Nineteen” group of African-American legislators, who are credited with rallying support for the new title, includes Commissioner Dr. Angela R. Garretson among its members.

And, on this historic occasion, we renew our commitment to the people of Union County, who trust us to continue working in the cause of equal dignity, equal respect, and equal rights for all.

“At last night’s Commissioner’s meeting, I made mention of celebrating one of the most moving and powerful moments in American history — the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States,” said Commissioner Chair Rebecca Williams. “In achieving this position, Judge Jackson is all of us, no matter what ethnicity, skin color, sexual orientation, gender, creed, or ability. She is everyone who builds a vision of their future, from one step to the next.”

“On Monday, I was honored to join with Senator Bob Menendez in my home town of Hillside, along with the Reverend Dr. Christopher Michael Jones and other representatives of the community, to celebrate and support the nomination of Judge Jackson,” said Commissioner Dr. Angela Garretson. “So many people have had to overcome obstacles, and Judge Jackson’s appointment proves that if you work hard and believe in yourself, you can do anything or be anything you want to be.”