The National Bar Association Nominates Honorable Ann Claire Williams for Supreme Court Justice

The National Bar Association (NBA) announced in a press release today, April 14, 2010,  their  nomination of the first African American female Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Ann Claire  Williams.

Honorable Ann Claire Williams
Honorable Ann Claire Williams

Williams is the first African American ever appointed to the Seventh Circuit and the third African American woman ever to serve on any United States Court of Appeals.  The United States Supreme Court seat vacancy will become available after last week’s  announcement of Justice John Paul Stevens’ retirement.

Normally, I steer away from direct political involvement.   However, I was Ann’s sister Drew’s, roommate when I first moved to Harlem more than 10-years ago, so I’m making an exception.  I had the opportunity to spend time talking with Ann during a difficult, transitional time of my life, when I was debating completing college and a career change.  Needless-to-say, today with an M.A. in hand and a successful New York business, she was obviously an inspiration to my life, and I wanted to give her my complete support!

All the best to you Ann!

See the NBA Press Release Below:


Erika C. Owens, Communications Coordinator
National Bar Association, Phone: (202) 842-3900 x20

Jill M. Butler, Advocacy & Policy Coordinator
National Bar Association, (202) 842-3900 x22

In a letter written to President Barack Obama, the NBA noted that as “a moderate and faithful adherent to constitutional principles of government, Judge Williams is extremely well qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and has all the necessary experience and the professional expertise to succeed Justice Stevens.” Williams, an active NBA member, has been a leader and long-standing public servant. She was a recipient of the NBA’s William H. Hastie Award and recipient of its Gertrude E. Rush Award, named in honor of the sole female founder of the NBA.

NBA President Mavis T. Thompson noted that “Justice Stevens’ retirement creates the opportunity for the country to have its first African American female Supreme Court Justice.  As was the case with Justice Stevens, his replacement must have the highest integrity, be undoubtedly very well qualified, have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to equal justice under the law and possess appropriate judicial temperament.”

Consistent with the NBA’s historic mission and its leadership role on behalf of over 44,000 of the nation’s African American lawyers, judges and academics, the NBA is committed to playing an active role in the process to fill the vacancy created by Justice Stevens’ retirement. The NBA strongly urges President Obama to use this upcoming vacancy as an opportunity to further diversify the high court and to make it more reflective of the nation it serves.  Without question, at this critical juncture in the nation’s history and with so many important legal issues to come before the United States Supreme Court, Judge Ann Claire Williams is the right person to succeed Justice Stevens.


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