The US Senate on Thursday confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, making her the first black woman to be elevated to the pinnacle of the judicial branch in what her supporters hailed as a needed step toward bringing new diversity and life experience to the court.
Reuters reported that overcoming a concerted effort by conservative Republicans to derail her nomination, Jackson was confirmed on a 53-to-47 vote, with three Republicans joining all 50 members of the Democratic caucus in backing her.
The vote to confirm the 51-year-old federal appellate judge to a lifetime job on the nation’s top judicial body was 53-47, with three Republicans – Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney – joining Biden’s fellow Democrats. A simple majority was needed, as Jackson overcame Republican opposition in a Supreme Court confirmation process that remains fiercely partisan.
Jackson will take the 83-year-old Breyer’s place on the liberal bloc of a court with an increasingly assertive six-three conservative majority.
Breyer is due to serve until the court’s current term ends – usually in late June – and Jackson would be formally sworn in after that. Jackson served early in her career as a Supreme Court clerk for Breyer.
One of the Senate’s three black members and Democrat, Raphael Warnock, said in a debate before the vote, “I am the father of a young Black girl. I know how much it means for Judge Jackson to have navigated the double jeopardy of racism and sexism to now stand in the glory of this moment. Seeing Judge Jackson ascend to the Supreme Court reflects the promise of progress on which our democracy rests. What a great day it is in America.”
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