Ketanji Brown Jackson makes history as first black woman Supreme Court Justice in 53-47 votes

Ketanji Brown Jackson made history on Thursday when the Senate voted 53 to 47 to make her the first black woman in Supreme Court history.

Vice President Kamala Harris, himself a historic first as the first black and Asian-American female vice president, was on hand to chair the confirmation vote. Ms. Jackson’s ascent to the nation’s highest court was a moment of celebration for many Democrats.

“Today, the highest-level administration of justice in our country is a bit more like what it says,” Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock, one of only three black senators to sit in the audience during her hearing, told reporters. the independent

Judge Jackson himself watched the proceedings with President Joe Biden from the White House.

Ms Jackson’s nomination is a fulfillment of President Biden’s promise during the 2020 campaign that he would nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court. That, in turn, led to James Clyburn of the House Majority Whip backing him, which many saw as the catalyst for him overwhelmingly won the South Carolina primaries that propelled him to the Democratic nomination for president.

President Biden and Judge Jackson Celebrate Her Confirmation at the White House


Only three Republican senators — Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — joined each Democrat to vote for her confirmation. Many Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, such as ranking member Chuck Grassley and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, rehashed hurt feelings about past confirmations, including Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and failed candidate Robert Bork.

Senate Democrats and supporters of the judge erupted into applause when her confirmation was announced.

“It’s a new member of the Supreme Court and it’s clearly symbolic and significant that we have another African American on the court,” Romney said. the independent

Senator Amy Klobuchar said she was sure Republican senators would vote for her.

“I’m very proud that three of our Republican colleagues, I was always someone who said we’d have bipartisan support, are joining us and she’s handled that audience so well that she’ll be able to go in with her head held high. to walk,” she said.

Others, such as Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, had often rebuked her for her track record in convicting those convicted of possessing child sex images. Those Republicans tried to make her an outlier who handed out lenient sentences different from those of other judicial nominees.

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky further delayed her confirmation by running late on the ballot, even after Ms. Jackson’s confirmation had gained 53 votes.

But the Democrats were largely undaunted, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren cast the 51st vote to send Ms. Jackson to court.

“We will not let Republicans rain on this glorious day,” said Ms. Warren. “They couldn’t attack her for her qualifications or her legal temperament, so they just made up a lot of things. So we don’t let ourselves be let down by a lot of made-up things.”

Many members of the Congressional Black Caucus on the House side, including Florida’s Val Demings, Maryland’s Anthony Brown, New York’s Yvette Clarke, and Missouri’s Cori Bush, were in attendance for the event.

For Mrs. Bush, the moment was a balance of contradictions in America.

“It’s way too long that we’ve had to wait for it,” she said the independent† “It’s historic, it’s monumental and there are so many black girls that come up and know that ‘I could be that one day’. But not only that, but, you know, I think about the fact that we’re the first Celebrating a black woman in the year 2022 before the US Supreme Court, the court that affects the entire country, it’s sad that this is the first, but I’m elated and emotional, so I don’t have many words.”

Ms. Bush was also pleased with Ms. Jackson’s track record as a former public defender.

“That’s what we need, someone off the ground,” she said. “Someone who understands that they have signed up to work for the people who have the most needs.”

There are currently no black women in the United States Senate. Ms. Demings is on a long shot run against Senator Marco Rubio this year.

“America has done its best in Judge Brown Jackson and we should all, regardless of the color of our skin or our gender, celebrate this moment,” said Ms. Demings. “She will, I think, bring some much-needed perspective to the nation’s highest court.”

Ms. Demings also criticized the way Republicans treated Ms. Jackson during her hearings.

“And if America does its best, I’d ask the senators who treated her as the worst in America to think about whether that was their daughter sitting there,” she said. “If they were to bring out the best of America, they would want their daughter to be treated in such a disrespectful way.”

Similarly, former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, Cheri Beasley, is also serving in North Carolina to replace outgoing Republican Senator Richard Burr.

Warnock, who became the first black Democrat elected from the South when he won his race in Georgia last January, said he was confident there would be black female senators in the future.

“We have some excellent black female candidates,” he said. “I know them both.”

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