Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes first black woman on Supreme Court after Senate confirmation

Three Republicans crossed party lines in support of Judge Jackson (Picture: AP)

The US Senate on Thursday voted to confirm Ketjani Brown Jackson, the first black woman to join the Supreme Court in its 233-year history.

‘On this vote the yays are 53, the noes are 47, and this nomination is confirmed,’ Vice President Kamala Harris, said, acting in her role of Senate president.

Jackson secured three Republican votes and support from more moderate Democrats, marking somewhat of a bipartisan victory for President Joe Biden’s first nominee to the high court.

Leading up to the vote, Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin called the moment ‘a glass shattering achievement for America.’

‘Today, the members of this Senate have the opportunity to take a monumental step forward. We will vote to confirm a once in a generation legal talent, a jurist with outstanding credentials and a lifetime of experience and the first-ever African American woman to serve as Justice of the Supreme Court,’ Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Jackson cleared a key test vote that limited the debate on her nomination and allowed for her confirmation to take place Thursday.

A 53 to 47 vote to limit the debate on Judge Jackson’s nomination propelled her forward to confirmation. Three Republicans, Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah, crossed party lines on the test vote.

All three crossed party lines once again Thursday afternoon to confirm Judge Jackson.

Jackson, 51, will be seated on the high court this summer, when Justice Stephen Breyer will retire after 22 years’ service.

President Joe Biden embraces his Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as they watch the full US Senate vote on Jackson’s nomination (Picture: Reuters)

While giving closing remarks before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said it was a ‘wonderful,’ ‘joyous’ and ‘inspiring’ day for the Senate, Supreme Court and the rest of America.

‘It’s been a dark two years with Covid . . . but even in the darkest times there are bright lights,’ Schumer said. ‘Today is one of the brightest lights. Let us hope it is a metaphor, an indication of many more bright lights.’

Speaking during her afternoon briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden had been engaging with Republican and Democrat Senators throughout the confirmation process.

‘This is a fulfillment of a promise the president made to the country. His time on the judiciary committee was defining for him and gave him historically exceptional preparation for what we would consider a smooth process, characterized by heavy engagement with both parties in the senate,’ Psaki said.


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