First Black woman named Ketanji Brown Jackson in the United States made history on Thursday as the U.S Senate confirmed her the first-ever to serve as a Supreme Court justice irrespective of her gender, or race.
The 51-year-old’s appointment establishes a broken jinx of white men being the majority on the nation’s high court in 233 years.
President Joe Biden addressed it as a
“historic moment for our nation.”
“This milestone should have happened generations ago… but we are always trotting on a path towards a more perfect union.
However, America today is taking an unprecedented move towards making our union more perfect,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
“People sometimes talk about standing on the shoulders of giants; well, Judge Jackson will go down in history as an American giant upon whose shoulders others will stand tall. And our democracy will be better off for it.”
The woman Jackson who made a historic moment on Thursday gained support from three Senate Republicans during a gruelling and at times brutal confirmation process, delivering Biden a bipartisan, 53-47 approval for his first Supreme Court nominee.
It is a remarkable moment for the president, who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 1980s and 90s, implying that he has the unusual excellence of both appointing and overseeing the appointment of a Supreme Court justice.
Specifically, it has given Joe Biden the opportunity to show the Black voters who came to his rescue over his floundering 2020 primary campaign that he still has their interest at heart and can deliver for them following the recent defeat of voting rights legislation.
At 42 days, the confirmation will be among the shortest in history, although longer than it took to seat Donald Trump’s last court pick during his presidency, Amy Coney Barrett.
Guardian of the Constitution
As the final word on all civil and criminal legal disputes, as well as guardian and interpreter of the Constitution, the Supreme Court seeks to ensure equal justice under the law.
It is also a check on the power wielded by the other branches of government and the arbiter of disputes covering all aspects of American life, from religious liberty and voting rights to gun ownership and abortion access.
Four of the justices on the nine-member court will be women once Jackson takes her seat, making it the most diverse bench in the history
— although they all went to law school at Harvard or Yale.
Among the 5 men on the bench, 4 are white, and Clarence Thomas is African American.
Jackson, who watched the vote at the White House with Biden, is the only nominee of a Democratic president to be confirmed since Elena Kagan in 2010.
She is now taking the position of the retiring liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, to whom she was the clerk at the turn of the century.
So while her confirmation is a milestone, it won’t change the 6-3 conservative majority on the court, and that took some of the stings out of a fight that could have been even more vitriolic.
Nevertheless, Schumer, who has had to endure a 50-50 Senate longer than any majority leader in history, had to steer Jackson through a contentious and emotionally draining confirmation process.
Republicans accused the Washington appeals court judge of being “soft” on child pornographers, despite her sentencing record being in line with other federal judges.
Others implied that she was sympathetic to terrorists due to her work as a federal public defender representing Guantanamo Bay detainees and one even suggested that she would have been sympathetic to Nazi criminals.
Lisa Murkowski, one of a Republican trio of Jackson backers, said in a statement her endorsement was a “rejection of the corrosive politicization of the review process.”
Another Republican Jackson supporter, Susan Collins, lamented how partisan the process had become, noting that senators used to give presidents from the opposing party more deference on Supreme Court picks.
“This is the approach that I plan to continue to use for Supreme Court nominations because it runs counter to the disturbing trend of politicizing the judicial nomination process,” she said.
Watch The Video
View this post on Instagram
While the procedure was by far tensioned and divisive, Jackson had maintained strong support across the voters who are so expectant to see her confirmed.
A new Politico/Morning Consult poll displayed that nearly half of voters gave their approval urging the Senate to throw their weight behind her. Just 26% don’t think she should get a yes vote, while 25% had nothing to say.