This week’s Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson have offered a window into our broken judicial nominations process. I’m no stranger to it, having worked from 2005-2008 for the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy in Washington.

15 years ago, we prepared a pipeline of potential appointees for the next Democratic president. After President Obama took office, it was frustrating to see him nominate only one of them—Goodwin Lui, who went on to serve on the California Supreme Court—before abandoning his nomination when it proved controversial in the Senate.

From that point forward, Obama nominated mostly government prosecutors and corporate lawyers. His administration was careful to diversify their ranks, but they came largely from the same professional backgrounds as the GOP nominees who today dominate the bench.

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That pattern is much of why I’m so excited about Judge Jackson’s nomination, and eager to see it confirmed by the Senate.

The most common pathway to the federal bench is serving as a prosecutor. It’s ironic, bizarre—and frankly a constitutional problem, because it subverts the independence of the judiciary. Alexander Hamilton described judicial independence in the Federalist Papers No. 78 as a crux on which liberty rests.

The problem of former prosecutors serving as judges, and subverting judicial independence by sitting in judgment over their former colleagues, is especially acute at the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s why Judge Jackson, if she is confirmed and sworn in as Justice Jackson, could play such a tremendous role.

If confirmed, Judge Jackson would be not only the Supreme Court’s first Black woman, but also its first public defender. Each of those dimensions of her representation—demographic, and professional—render her poised to make a contribution to an institution that frankly needs her voice.

A Justice Jackson would be the Court’s first public defender, the only one on a panel that remains dominated by former Justice Department lawyers. Her addition to the bench would help introduce a crucial—and notably absent—perspective of someone who has battled the leviathan of mass incarceration. There has been no balance on the Court for decades. I wrote about that problem in 2009 in a 4-part series published on Huffington Post.

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It’s no surprise to see GOP Senators come out of the woodwork to oppose Judge Jackson’s nomination, even though the depths to which they were willing to sink may have been surprising—even for them!

For instance, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) disingenuously accused Judge Jackson of being soft on people convicted of child pornography. His attacks were so baseless that even conservative National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy was moved to write that Hawley’s “allegation appears meritless to the point of demagoguery.”

I’ve faced my own share of demagoguery, though sadly more from Democrats than the GOP. Can you join us today to help us fight back against continuing attacks from across the political spectrum ultimately serving the same corporate establishment?

We’re glad to see voices from across the political spectrum rallying around Judge Jackson’s nomination. She not only deserves Senate confirmation, but the Court frankly needs her to help address its own crumbling legitimacy.

With your support, I hope to work across the street from Justice Jackson in Washington. Thanks for helping me get there!

Your voice,

Shahid