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Ketanji Brown Jackson Getting a Vogue Feature But Not Amy Coney Barrett Makes Perfect Sense, Actually

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On April 7, 2022,  Ketanji Brown Jackson made history as the first Black woman to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. To celebrate her news-making position, Vogue decided to honor the justice with a photoshoot by Annie Leibovitz and an article about her incredible accomplishments in her career.

However, not everyone is cheering about Justice Jackson’s Vogue opportunity, there are conservatives on Twitter who are asking why Amy Coney Barrett did not receive the same treatment when she was sworn in. The answer is pretty simple: precedent. While women have yet to hold a majority on the Supreme Court, there have been white women who have come before her, Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and Elena Kagan (Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina to serve on the Supreme Court). So, Justice Jackson being the first Black woman to have a spot on the court is not only notable, it is shattering glass ceilings for other young Black women, who will one day follow in her judicial footsteps.

There is another thing the critics are failing to understand when it comes to Vogue as a publication — they traditionally align themselves with women’s issues, and that does include reproductive rights. With Justice Barrett siding with the conservatives to dismantle Roe v. Wade, it doesn’t make any sense at all for the magazine to highlight her accomplishments when a majority of the U.S. wants those rights protected.

The complaints about Vogue have been an ongoing discussion since they did not feature Melania Trump on the cover when she was First Lady (Dr. Jill Biden was on the cover in August 2021). Melania’s former BFF and senior advisor (and Vogue staffer!) Stephanie Winston Wolkoff had a much different tale to tell in her memoir, Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship With the First Lady  . She revealed, “Vogue reached out to Melania, hoping to schedule an Annie Leibovitz photo shoot of the First Lady in the White House, with writer Rob Haskell shadowing her for a few days to write a profile. All that sounded great, but the magazine could not guarantee that Melania would appear on the cover.” And that’s why Melania declined the magazine outright — no cover, no Melania.
Vogue‘s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour has since drawn a more distinct line when it comes to covering political figures. She told HuffPost, “I don’t think it’s a moment not to take a stand… I think you can’t be everything to everybody and I think it’s a time that we live in a world, as you would well know, of fake news… [and] those of us that work at Conde Nast believe that you have to stand up for what you believe in, and you have to take a point of view.” Vogue has taken a stance, and it’s never going to side with Justice Barrett’s point of view.

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