Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed to Supreme Court

It was announced on Thursday that the Senate had unanimously confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, giving President Joe Biden a bipartisan stamp of approval for his pledged attempt to diversify the court.


Jackson Was Unanimously Confirmed to the Supreme Court by the Senate

On the Senate floor, cheers went out as Jackson, a 51-year-old appeals court judge, was confirmed 53-47, primarily along party lines but with three Republican votes. Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the vote, making history as the first Black woman to hold such a position of power.

As Biden tweeted, “we’ve taken another step toward making our highest court reflect the diversity of America.” ‘ Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, gushed about the event, saying it was “a wonderful day, a joyous day, an inspiring day — for the Senate, for the Supreme Court, and for the United States of America.”

Upon exiting the Capitol, Harris stated she was “deeply moved” and “overjoyed.”

This summer, when Justice Stephen Breyer steps down, the liberal wing of the 6-3 conservative-dominated court will be strengthened by the addition of Justice Jackson.

Waiting for the results at the White House with President Biden, she gave him a big hug as they came in. In addition to Harris, the two were scheduled to appear at the White House on Friday.

Her “path was clearer” than her parents’ after the enactment of civil rights laws, Jackson said during four days of Senate hearings last month. Jackson spoke of her parents’ problems with racial segregation.

She attended Harvard University, worked as a public defender, and was named to the U.S. Sentencing Commission after serving as a member of the panel.

She said she would apply the law “without fear or favor,” and she fought back against Republican attempts to depict her as being too soft on convicts she had sentenced.

In addition to Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, Jackson will be only the sixth woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Four of the nine justices will be women for the first time in history, thanks to Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Amy Coney Barrett.

Her appointment to the Supreme Court will provide a much-needed break for the Democrats who had to fight three grueling confirmation battles with former President Trump’s candidates and watch Republicans secure a conservative majority in their final days in office.

However, Jackson will ensure that Biden has a lasting impact on the court by being the first Black woman to be nominated in 2020.

“This is a momentous day for our country and for the White House,” stated White House press secretary Jen Psaki following today’s vote.  “And this is a fulfillment of a promise the president made to the country.”

Ketanji Brown Jackson
Ketanji Brown Jackson

As Thursday’s votes were cast, the atmosphere was joyous, even if the Senate was split. Members of both parties sat at their workstations and stood to cast their votes, a practice reserved for the most crucial subjects.

For the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic two years ago, the top galleries were nearly full, and roughly a dozen members of the Congressional Black caucus stood at the back of the chamber.

Democrats erupted in loud clapping and cheers, with Schumer pumping his hands as Harris read out the final count. A few Republicans remained and applauded, but most had already departed.

Jackson was able to win three Republican votes despite Republican criticism of her record. After Republican senators vigorously attempted to characterize Jackson as too liberal and soft on crime, Biden achieved a decisive victory in the 50-50 split Senate, even if the final count was far from the majority.

Republicans in the Senate have made several statements. Despite their differing opinions on many issues, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah all agreed that  Jackson was well-suited for the position.

As the confirmation battles over Trump’s three selections grew more contentious, Collins and Murkowski expressed their displeasure.

Collins said, “broken” and Murkowski called it “corrosive” and “more detached from reality by the year.”

After Barrett, 50, Jackson will be the court’s second-youngest member. The first time in nearly 30 years that no one on the court has been 75 or older is about to happen.

His presidency will be defined by racial issues, both in college admissions and voting rights. As a board member of Harvard, she has agreed to abstain from the court’s assessment of the university’s admissions policy.

However, a second case involving a challenge to the admissions procedure at the University of North Carolina could allow her to weigh in on the matter.

In a statement, Advancement Project Executive Director Judith Browne Dianis said that Jackson’s appointment will help the court better reflect the areas that are most affected by the judiciary.

A personal look at how the law affects communities of color, including voting rights, police misbehavior, abortion access, housing discrimination, and the criminal justice system will now be available to the United States Supreme Court, according to Justice Ginsburg. Everyone in the United States will benefit in the long run.

Until the court’s session finishes in late June or early July, Jackson may have to wait up to three months for the oath of office.

Conservatives questioned her sentencing record, in particular, the lenient punishments she handed down in child pornography cases, during her confirmation hearings.

Jackson was adamant that “nothing could be further from the truth,” and she went on to explain why Democrats said that her choices were in line with those of other judges.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who claimed that Jackson “never got tough once in this area,” stated in a floor speech on Wednesday that Republicans’ questioning of Jackson before the Judiciary Committee “showed the views of many Republicans.”

The Republicans’ interrogation was attacked by Democrats.

“A straw man can be made, but it won’t hold,” remarked New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker during the committee vote earlier this week.

Booker, a Black man, told Jackson during the hearings last month that he had tears in his eyes as he watched her testify. He claimed to have recognized “both my own and yours” in her likeness.

Booker said, “Don’t worry, my sister.” 

“Don’t worry. God has got you. And how do I know that? Because you’re here, and I know what it’s taken for you to sit in that seat.”

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