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Wisconsin judge and law student share their thoughts on Judge Jackson's confirmation

"My childhood dream is actually something that could happen."
Posted at 10:28 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-09 22:11:49-04

MILWAUKEE — History was made Thursday after the Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.

In Wisconsin, some people are excited and even more so hopeful for the future after they say the confirmation is only the beginning for women of color.

"As soon as I found out, I yelled out yes," Alyssah Foster smiled.

Foster, a third year Law student at Marquette, said it was pure joy she felt in that moment, knowing someone that looks like her now holds a seat on the highest court.

"Justice Jackson on the bench now shows me that my childhood dream is actually something that could happen," Foster said,

Foster said through her upbringing, she quickly learned those that work in the justice system didn't represent communities of color. That's why she made it her goal to make change.

"I wanted to give people someone that they can turn to in the justice system that isn't against them and also looks like them," Foster stated.

This same sentiment holds true for Judge Maxine White.

"It's an extraordinary day for me personally and for the nation," White smiled.

White, against all odds, persevered and went from being a sharecropper's daughter during the Jim Crow Era to making history as the first African-American woman to serve on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

"I couldn't drink from the water fountain," White recalled. "Being the first is lonely and remaining the first is even lonelier," White said.

White said she is thankful things have changed since she made history, but Justice Jackson's confirmation allows others to dream big.

"It opens up the opportunity in the eyes of so many other people who are so deserving," White said. "Saying I want to be on the Supreme Court one day doesn't seem as unrealistic as it once did," Foster stated.

Both women say while we've come far, there's still a long way to go. Foster said she looks forward to the day where there is more diversity in the justice field. She said there is about 30 members in the Black Law Student Association and about 40 Black students total at Marquette Law.

White who also attended Marquette Law said when she was attending it was only her and one other person of color in her graduating class.

White is hopeful for the future and made it her goal to uplift others who want to become a judge or join the justice field.

Jackson will replace Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires this summer.

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