Legal updates From Boardman Clark’s I.D.E.A. group
In 232 years and 115 prior appointments, not one Black woman has been selected to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Until now. On April 7, 2022, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the nation’s next Supreme Court justice. Justice Jackson will be not only the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court, but also the first former public defender.
March is Women’s History Month, making now an especially appropriate time for Wisconsin lawyers and legal professionals to reflect on the contributions that women lawyers have made. Women lawyers have been advancing justice in Wisconsin for years—especially in our state judiciary. For example, women currently occupy 6 of the 7 seats on our state supreme court, making it home to the highest percentage of women on a state supreme court in the United States. Likewise, women have held a majority of seats on our supreme court for the past 15 years.
Each February, we recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of Black Americans to the fabric of our national story cloth. The tapestry of American history, its challenges and progress are interwoven with Black history and its resilience and triumphs. As we honor the legacies of current and past Black Americans in the law, this year, we remember and celebrate a monumental leader, activist, and jurist, Velvalea “Vel” Hortense Rodgers Phillips (1924-2018).