The nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court has been confirmed by the Senate, making her the first Black woman to serve on the country’s highest court.
In a 53-47 vote on Thursday afternoon, the Senate approved Jackson’s historic candidacy.
Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation process exposed profound party divides in the United States, with Republicans attempting to characterize the longstanding jurist and US appeals court judge as a “radical,” while Democrats backed her wholeheartedly.
Even though most Republicans voted against her appointment to the Supreme Court on Thursday, three Republican senators: Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Utah’s Mitt Romney, voted in favor, essentially clinching her nomination in the equally divided senate.
Jackson, 51, is just the third Black American to serve as a Supreme Court judge, having broken hurdles as the first Black woman on the court.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer remarked, “this is a wonderful day, a joyous day and an inspiring day for the Senate with the Supreme Court and for the United States of America,” he added, “judge Jackson is in every sense and by all measures a brilliant jurist.”
Jackson, who is ideologically liberal, will join a 6-3 conservative-dominated court.
Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his retirement in January at the age of 83, will be replaced by her.
Confirmation hearings have become highly charged occasions, despite the fact that Supreme Court justices are supposed to be politically neutral.
The Republicans focused the hearings on questioning Jackson’s sentencing record on the federal bench, particularly the punishments she gave down in child pornography cases, which they claimed were excessively mild.
In her court rulings, they also attempted to portray her as a virulently left-wing figure.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “when it came to one of the most consequential decisions a president can make – a lifetime appointment to our highest court – the Biden administration let the radicals run the show.”
However, Democrats and Jackson, on the other hand, argued her choices were in line with those of other judges.
“I have been a judge for nearly a decade now, and I take that responsibility and my duty to be independent very seriously,” Jackson said during the hearings, “I decide cases from a neutral posture.”
“I evaluate the facts, and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me, without fear or favour, consistent with my judicial oath,” she added.
According to Jackson, her parents’ experiences with racial segregation and civil rights laws passed 10 years before she was born shaped her life, she told senators.
- Biden nominates Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court
In addition to her nine years on the federal bench, Jackson studied at Harvard, worked as a public defender, worked at a private law firm, and was named to the US Sentencing Commission.
Ketanji Brown Jackson is an “inspiration,” according to Massachusetts Democrat Senator Ed Markey.
He said on twitter, “I am proud to have cast my vote in support of the historic confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Congratulations Justice Jackson. You are an inspiration to us all and will bring a sorely needed perspective and voice to our nation’s highest court.”