Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has made history as she has been confirmed by Senate as the first black woman to serve in the Supreme Court of the US. The final vote tally of 53-47 revealed Jackson’s broad backing, with three Republicans voting with all Democrats to give the 51-year-old federal judge a lifetime job on the Supreme Court.
Ketanji Brown Jackson will be the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, marking a significant milestone for the country and a success for President Joe Biden, who carried on a campaign pledge to diversify the federal court. Jackson will replace the 83-year-old Breyer on the liberal group of a court with a 6-3 conservative majority that is becoming increasingly outspoken.
Breyer will serve until the end of the court’s current term, which is generally in late June, following which Jackson will be properly sworn in. Jackson worked as a Supreme Court clerk for Breyer early in her career. Biden invited Jackson to the White House to watch the vote on television, and he shared a selfie of the two smiling after the Senate voted on Twitter.
Furthermore, the vote to approve Jackson was presided over by Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to hold that position. As she read out the voting result, Harris appeared to tear up with emotion, triggering a flood of chanting from the Senate floor. Only five women have served on the Supreme Court including Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Amy Coney Barrett.
Additionally, only two African-Americans have ever been appointed to the Supreme Court including Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas. There has never been a Black woman on the Supreme Court before. Jackson will also be the first Supreme Court justice to have previously worked as a public defender. Democrats have hailed Jackson’s expertise as another proof that she will bring a new perspective to the court’s typically homogeneous makeup.