The US Senate confirms Jackson to the Supreme Court in what the Democratic Party leader calls a “happy day” for the country.
The United States Senate has upheld Ketanji Brown Jackson’s decision nomination to the United States Supreme Court, making her the first black woman in the nation’s history to serve on its highest court.
The Senate confirmed Jackson’s landmark nomination in a 53-47 vote Thursday afternoon.
Beyond breaking barriers as the first black woman on the bench, 51-year-old Jackson he is also now only the third black American to serve as a Supreme Court justice.
“This is a wonderful day, a joyful day and an inspiring day for the Senate with the Supreme Court and for the United States of America,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Judge Jackson is in every way and by every measure a brilliant jurist.”
jackson confirmation process highlighted deep partisan divisions in the US, with Republicans trying to paint the longtime jurist and US Court of Appeals judge as a “radical” while Democrats backed her staunchly .
While most Republicans Thursday voted against her joining the high court, three Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah — upvoted on Thursday, effectively sealing his nomination in the evenly split chamber.
The liberal Jackson will join a court dominated 6-3 by conservatives. She will replace Judge Stephen Breyer, 83, who announced her retirement in January.
Breyer had faced increased pressure to resign from the life post after the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg allowed former President Donald Trump to nominate his third nominee for the job: Amy Coney Barrett.
Barrett was confirmed by the then Republican-controlled Senate in the closing days of Trump’s presidency.
While Supreme Court justices are supposed to be apolitical, confirmation hearings have become politically tense affairs.
Republicans spent the cross-examination hearings Jackson’s sentencing history in federal court, including sentences he handed down in child pornography cases, which they argued were too light. They also sought to paint her as radically left wing in her judicial opinions.
“When it came to one of the biggest decisions a president can make, a lifetime appointment to our supreme court, the Biden administration let the radicals run the show,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said.
But Democrats and Jackson said he agreed with other justices in their decisions.
“I have been a judge for almost a decade and I take that responsibility and my duty to be independent very seriously,” Jackson said. during the hearings. “I decide cases from a neutral position. I assess the facts and interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me, without fear or favor, in accordance with my judicial oath.”
She told lawmakers that her life had been shaped by her parents’ experiences with racial segregation and civil rights laws that were enacted 10 years before she was born.
With her parents and family sitting behind her, she told the panel that her “path was clearer” than theirs as a black American.
Jackson attended Harvard University, served as a public defender, worked at a private law firm, and was appointed to the US Sentencing Commission in addition to her nine years in federal court.
Today is a day of joy for America!
The Senate is set to confirm Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic nomination to the United States Supreme Court.
She will become the first black woman and the first former public defender to hold the title of Supreme Court justice.
—Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 7, 2022
Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said Thursday that Jackson was an “inspiration.”
“I am proud to have cast my vote in support of the historic confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Congratulations to Judge Jackson. You are an inspiration to all of us and will bring a much needed perspective and voice to our nation’s highest court,” he wrote on Twitter.
MoveOn, a US progressive advocacy group, also hailed her confirmation as “a historic moment for our country and the ongoing fight to ensure justice is equal under the law.”