Thank you very much, Mr. President. I am truly
humbled by the extraordinary honor of this nomination. And I am especially
grateful for the care that you have taken in discharging your constitutional
duty in service of our democracy with all that is going on in the world today.
I also offer my sincerest thanks to you as well, Madam Vice President, for your
invaluable role in this nomination process.
I must begin these very brief remarks by thanking God for delivering me to this
point in my professional journey. My life has been blessed beyond measure, and I
do know that one can only come this far by faith.
Among my many blessings -- and indeed, the very first -- is the fact that I was
born in this great country. The United States of America is the greatest beacon
of hope and democracy the world has ever known.
I was also blessed from my early days to have had a supportive and loving
family. My mother and father, who have been married for 54 years, are at their
home in Florida right now, and I know that they could not be more proud.
It was my father who started me on this path. When I was a child, as the
President mentioned, my father made the fateful decision to trans- -- to
transition from his job as a public high school history teacher and go to law
school. Some of my earliest memories are of him sitting at the kitchen table,
reading his law books. I watched him study and he became my first professional
My mother, who was also a public high school teacher, provided invaluable
support in those early days, working full-time to enable my father’s career
transition while also guiding and inspiring four-year-old me.
My only sibling -- my brother, Ketajh -- came along half a decade later, and I am
so proud of all that he’s accomplished. After graduating from Howard University,
he became a police officer and a detective on some of the toughest streets in
the inner city of Baltimore. After that, he enlisted in the Army, serving two
tours of duty in the Middle East. I believe that he was following the example
set by my uncles who are in law enforcement.
You may have read that I have one uncle who got caught up in the drug trade and
received a life sentence. That is true, but law enforcement also runs in my
family. In addition to my brother, I had two uncles who served decades as police
officers, one of whom became the police chief in my hometown of Miami, Florida.
I am standing here today by the grace of God as testament to the love and
support that I’ve received from my family.
I have also been blessed with many dear friends, colleagues, mentors, law
clerks. I could not possibly name all of the people to whom I owe great thanks.
But I must mention specifically the three brilliant jurists for whom I had the
privilege of serving as a law clerk at the outset of my legal career: U.S.
District Judge Patti Saris in Massachusetts, U.S. Court of Appeals Bruce -- Judge
Bruce Selya in Rhode Island, and last but certainly not least, Associate Justice
Stephen Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Justice Breyer, in particular, not only gave me the greatest job that any young
lawyer could ever hope to have, but he also exemplified every day in every way
that a Supreme Court Justice can perform at the highest level of skill and
integrity while also being guided by civility, grace, pragmatism, and generosity
Justice Breyer, the members of the Senate will decide if I fill your seat, but
please know that I could never fill your shoes.
To my dear family, those who are here with me now and those who are watching
from home, I am forever indebted to you for your love and support.
To my beloved husband, Patrick, thank you for being my rock today and every day
for these past 26 years. I love you.
To my daughters, Talia and Leila, you are the light of my life. Please know that
whatever title I may hold or whatever job I might -- may have, I will still be
your mom. That will never change.
There are so many other people I would love to be able to address and to thank,
but time is short. So, let me end by sharing an interesting coincidence that has
actually meant a great deal to me over the years.
As it happens, I share a birthday with the first Black woman ever to be
appointed as a federal judge: the Honorable Constance Baker Motley. We were born
exactly 49 years to the day apart.
Today, I proudly stand on Judge Motley’s shoulders, sharing not only her
birthday but also her steadfast and courageous commitment to equal justice under
Judge Motley’s life and career has been a true inspiration to me as I have
pursued this professional path. And if I am fortunate enough to be confirmed as
the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, I can only
hope that my life and career, my love of this country and the Constitution, and
my commitment to upholding the rule of law and the sacred principles upon which
this great nation was founded will inspire future generations of Americans.
Thank you again, Mr. President, for this extraordinary honor.