Senate confirms Ketanji Brown Jackson as first Black woman on Supreme Court


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The Senate voted on Thursday to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve as justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The chamber voted 53-47 in favor of her confirmation — the same tally by which the Senate voted to advance the nomination out of committee on Monday.

Three Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — voted with Democrats to approve President Joe Biden’s first nomination to the country’s highest court.

The three Republicans signaled their support for her ahead of the vote, virtually assuring that she would succeed Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires in June.

Officials said that Jackson was with Biden in the Roosevelt Room of the White House to watch the historic Senate vote. The White House also said that Biden, Jackson and Vice President Kamala Harris will speak about the confirmation on Friday.

Jackson, 51, was nominated in February and has met privately with various senators over the past few weeks. Last month, she underwent questioning for two days before the Senate judiciary committee — where some Republicans grilled her on her track record and accused her of being soft on crime as a judge.

The committee ultimately passed Jackson’s nomination on to the full Senate.

“It will be a joyous day. Joyous for the Senate, joyous for the Supreme Court, joyous for America,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday, according to ABC News.

Jackson, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, needed only a simple majority of 51 votes for confirmation.

“My support rests on Judge Jackson’s qualifications, which no one questions,” Murkowski said in a statement. “Her demonstrated judicial independence; her demeanor and temperament; and the important perspective she would bring to the court.”

The judiciary committee deadlocked on Jackson’s nomination, at 11 on each side, which sent the matter to the full Senate, which voted 53-47 to put her final confirmation up for a vote.

Jackson’s confirmation maintains the Supreme Court’s 6-3 conservative edge. The last justice nominated and confirmed to the high court was Amy Coney Barrett in 2020. She was appointed by former President Donald Trump to succeed liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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