Senate Confirms Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court

Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed by the US Senate to be the 116th Justice to the Supreme Court and the first black woman to serve as a Justice. The 53-47 vote showed what is described as bipartisan support for Jackson, with three Republicans—Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney—joining all Democrats to elevate the 51-year-old federal judge to a lifetime appointment. The article describes this outcome as a “solid, bipartisan win for the Biden White House.” Jackson is President Joe Biden’s first Supreme Court nominee. She will replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, who was confirmed to the bench in 1994.

The post reported that Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, one of three Republicans to vote in favor of Justice Jackson, said her decision rested, in part, as a “rejection of the corrosive politicization” that has come to shape the confirmation process.

The post continued: “Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman ever to hold that title, presided over the vote to confirm Jackson. Harris appeared to momentarily choke up with emotion as she read out the vote result, which drew a swell of applause and cheering from the Senate floor.” Jackson will join a court that, the post characterizes as having ‘grown substantially more conservative following the appointment of three of former President Donald Trump’s nominees. Her addition will maintain the size of the court’s liberal wing, which is outnumbered 6-3 by the conservative bloc.”

Five women — Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett — have served on the Supreme Court. Only two Black men, Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, have ever been appointed to the bench. No Black women have previously sat on the high court. Jackson is also set to become the first Supreme Court justice to have served as a public defender. Democrats have touted that experience as more evidence that Jackson will bring fresh perspective to the historically homogeneous court. The democrats did not explain why having been a public defender would bring a ‘fresh perspective’ to the Court or why a fresh perspective would effect a higher quality of court decisions.

Republicans, the report alleged, have tried to wield Jackson’s public-defender experience against her by accusing her of sympathizing with the views or actions of some of her past clients. Although her qualifications and temperament were rarely questioned, Republicans tore into Jackson’s judicial record, focusing on her sentencing record in a handful of child-pornography cases, which she gave light punishments to those offenders. Accusations were couched as Jackson being a liberal activist and “soft on crime” and criticizing her legal work for Guantanamo Bay detainees, and questioning support she received from progressive groups.

Some Republican senators pressed Jackson to explain critical race theory, to opine whether babies are racist, and to define “woman,” which Jackson refused to do, justifying her refusal by claiming she was not a biologist. Democrats defended her record and applauding her character. This country is in for a cataclysmic ride.

D&B Staff

Join the discussion

Further reading