Ketanji Brown Jackson tears up as she’s welcomed as first black woman on Supreme Court: ‘We’ve made it. All of us’

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris welcomed Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the White House on Friday to celebrate her confirmation to the US Supreme Court (Pictures: Getty/Rex)

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was given a warm welcome to the US Supreme Court by President and Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday at a celebration held in her honor on the South Lawn of the White House.

‘It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States,’ the newly appointed Justice said.

‘But we’ve made it. We’ve made it. All of us, all of us. And our children are telling me that they see now more than ever that here in America, anything is possible.’

Jackson, who sporadically wiped tears from her face while speaking, later recited Maya Angelou, and received a standing ovation outside the White House as she said: ‘I am the dream and the hope of the slave.’

The judge noted the nation has come a long way.

‘In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court,’ she said.

At the top of the event, Vice President Kamala Harris recalled the nation’s first President, George Washington, who once ‘referred to America as a great experiment, a nation founded on the previously untested belief that the people, we the people, could form a more perfect union.’

‘That belief has pushed our nation forward. For generations. And it is that belief that we learned yesterday,’ Harris added.

Judge Jackson on several occasions blotted tears from her eyes while speaking in front of the White House

To a roaring crowd Harris noted the historical significance of Jackson’s confirmation to the high court, before welcoming Biden to the podium.

‘This is going to let so much sunshine on so many young women, so many young black men, so many minorities, it’s real,’ Biden said. ‘We’re going to look back and see this is a moment of real change in American history.’

The President praised the new justice for her grace and composure throughout the long and often difficult confirmation process.

‘After more than 20 hours of questioning, nearly 100 meetings, she made herself available. Every single senator wanted to speak to her and spoke for more than just a few minutes, answer their questions in private as well as before the committee,’ Biden said.

President Joe Biden, accompanied by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington (Picture: AP)

‘We all saw the kind of justice she’ll be: fair and impartial, thoughtful, careful, precise, brilliant, a brilliant legal mind with deep knowledge of the law. And the judicial temperament, which was equally important in my view. That’s calm and in command,’ he added.

Biden later gave thanks to the three Republican Senators, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney for making Judge Jackson’s nomination a bipartisan effort.

Biden added that he was ‘honored’ to introduce the newest Supreme Court Justice, before welcoming Jackson to the podium.

‘It is the greatest honor of my life to be here with you at this moment,’ Jackson said.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s husband Dr. Patrick Jackson and daughter Leila Jackson (Picture: AP)

Thanking her family and loved ones through tears, Jackson gave a special thanks to Justice Stephen Breyer, who she will replace on the court. Breyer once served as a mentor to Jackson when she worked for him as a clerk.

She also thanked President Biden, saying, ‘Thank you as well, Mr President, for believing in me and for honoring me with this extraordinary chance to serve our country.’

Jackson will become the first black woman to sit on the nation’s highest judicial panel. She was confirmed by the Senate in a 53-47 vote on Thursday with all members of the Democratic party and three Republicans voting for her nomination.

She will assume her duties on the court in the summer, when Justice Stephen Breyer, who she is replacing, will retire.


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