Fresh Toast has a dream….
Perhaps Jackson’s generational separation from Breyer and his unique experience will give marijuana laws a boost the next time they’re argued in the land’s highest court.
There will be a new justice on the Supreme Court of the United States and, in all likelihood, the selection of President Biden will be historic. Confirmation hearings began last week for Ketanji Brown Jackson, the likely replacement for Justice Stephen Breyer, who will retire from the Supreme Court this year.
If Jackson is nominated, she would become the first African-American woman on the United States Supreme Court, and also one of the only Supreme Court justices in history with experience as a public defender. Jackson will most likely be confirmed in a month or two, bringing a new set of experiences, expertise and a unique understanding of the legal framework.
What, if anything, would this landmark nomination mean for the future of marijuana legalization?
Jackson, like most Supreme Court justices and former nominees, has been silent on his personal views on many contentious issues in the United States during his confirmation hearings, including the subject of marijuana legalization. . In fact, the only judge who has spoken on the subject recently is Justice Clarence Thomas, a conservative.
Judge Thomas may be conservative, but his recent official opinion on the legal status of marijuana shows that, like many, he is growing frustrated with America’s indecisiveness and confounds the outdated logic on the matter. .
“The federal government’s current approach to marijuana bears little resemblance to the watertight nationwide prohibition that a narrowly divided court found necessary to justify the government’s blanket ban,” Thomas said. wrote in an official statement. Times are changing, indeed.
Although Jackson hasn’t made her views on marijuana known, her service as a public defender means she has real-world experience with drug laws and seen first-hand how they have (often unfairly) an impact on lives.
“No other attorney in the system sees the law from the perspective of public defenders,” said Premal Dharia, executive director of the Institute to End Mass Incarceration. told the Harvard Gazette, alma mater of Jackson Law School. “Public defenders are the system’s check on government excesses, on police misconduct, on legal misconduct, on all these different parts of the system.”
Jackson reportedly engaged in public defense, which is not a popular path for those seeking to sit in the highest courts, with intent. She did it because “she clearly wanted to see how the system worked in reality, and was more interested in the defense side of trying to help people who came from very unhappy backgrounds,” AJ Kramer, a defender audience who know Jackson, told the New York Times.
This unique perspective will be an important perspective for a court that currently has little recent first-hand experience with drug incarceration or an understanding of how these laws disproportionately affect people of color. “Because people of color are disproportionately arrested, prosecuted, and locked up, her work is also inextricably linked to the fight for racial justice,” Vox wrote regarding Jackson’s unique career.
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