More than 50 Alaska Native tribes support Jackson for Supreme Court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaking from behind a lectern
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks as an honoree at the Third Annual Judge James B. Parsons Legacy Dinner on Feb. 24, 2020, at the University of Chicago Law School. (Creative Commons photo by Lloyd DeGrane)

Many Alaska Native tribes are getting behind U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. 

One tribe supporting Jackson is Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. 

President Chalyee Éesh Richard Peterson said that, while Jackson doesn’t have the most experience in Indian Country law, she is the most qualified candidate nominated to the Supreme Court in recent years. 

“I think her given aptitude for it is a plus for us,” Peterson said. “You know, we want people to adjudicate on the letter of the law, and we think the letter of the law favors a lot of the tribal cases.”

Other tribes and tribal organizations across the state have sent letters of support to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee this month, including the Association of Village Council Presidents, which represents 56 tribes in Western Alaska.

The letter from AVCP stated that her record of fairness makes her a good choice for the Supreme Court. 

“AVCP recognizes the importance of a U.S. Supreme Court appointee who understands and is committed to protecting the rights of all Americans, including those who have historically received inequitable and unfair treatment,” the letter said. 

Jackson also has support from Kawerak, Inc., Hydaburg Cooperative Association, Craig Tribal Association, Native Village of Eyak, Akiak Native Community, Noorvik Native Community and Tanana Chiefs Conference.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are pushing for a vote tonight on moving her nomination to the full Senate and hope get Jackson confirmed before they go on Easter recess this weekend.

Earlier Monday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced that she would support Jackson’s nomination.

If confirmed, Jackson would be the first Black woman to serve in the nation’s highest court.

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