Houston attorneys celebrate SCOTUS Ketanji Brown making history

She made history by becoming the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court and Friday was Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s final ceremony before the high court gets to work next week. 

PREVIOUS: Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to make Supreme Court debut in brief ceremony Friday

The event may have taken place in Washington D.C. but women all across the country, including those in Houston, are celebrating.

"I think it’s important that the Supreme Court has different points of view," explains Vivian King with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.  

With the public swearing-in of Justice Jackson on June 30, 2022, she made history and has been a member of the high court since but this last investiture ceremony held today, was a private event attended by President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and their spouses. In a room full of family, dignitaries, and supporters the service formally welcomes Jackson to her new role.

'"She has trail blazed a path for us, and she’s made the seemingly impossible possible for young African American public servants such as myself," says Harris County Felony Prosecutor Raven Hoff.

MORE: Who is Ketanji Brown Jackson? Biden taps 1st Black woman to Supreme Court

Vivian King is the First Assistant and Chief of Staff in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, second only to D.A. Kim Ogg. 

"In Texas, only 2% of the bar are Black women, 2%," adds King who is a trailblazer herself.

She is sharing in the excitement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s first Black woman.

"I feel an enormous amount of pride. I know she has gone through a lot to get to where she is," King adds. 

In her more than 30 years as an attorney, King had her share of obstacles as a young lawyer. 

"Basically being invisible," she explains. "My first three months in the DA’s Office in 1992 I was like no one pays attention to me. If they’re having golf tournaments or anything’s happening everybody’s ignoring me. It was a very lonely place. Me talking about the isolation is not to disparage anyone. It’s just the reality of where it is. Things have changed so much in my 30 years, and I’m happy about that." 

Assistant District Attorney Mariah Myles says in school she was discouraged from choosing this occupation and was told. 

"That’s not a black woman’s career," she said. "You should be a teacher or a nurse".  

"I had to fight and struggle to have a voice, and I’ve watched a lot of young Black prosecutors and defense attorneys be afraid to speak in the courtroom, afraid of not being acknowledged, not being respected," King adds. "I even went through nine years of being a single mother and not dating because all I could do was work and be married to the law because I was going to be better than who I was against. My voice was going to be heard." 

RELATED: 10 Houston City Council members making history during Women's History Month

The three successful attorneys I spoke with say they’re grateful to witness this history in the making.

"That’s exciting for us because the representation gives us the ability to dream," says Hoff, and who would have dreamed a chair once was used by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, who owned slaves, Justice Jackson was seated in that chair during her stately ceremony.

"The oppressed now have a voice and I think that’s the way life is...life corrects itself and I think that was just a correction," King smiles.  

The new term for the Supreme Court begins Monday.