By Florence Mafomemeh
A history-making vote in Washington has confirmed Judge Ketanji Jackson as the first black woman to become Justice Of The U.S. Supreme Court
The yays were 53 and the Nays, 47. With that vote, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson became the 116th and the first ever black female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. It took 232 years since the nation had Supreme Court Justices for this to happen.
Presiding over the vote that took place on Thursday was Vice President and president of the Senate Kamala Harris, who herself made history by becoming the first black and South Asian Vice President of the United States.
Also for the first time, Judge Jackson, 51, whose parents were public school teachers before her father went on to become a lawyer, will join three Justices of color. Also, four women will be serving at the same time and for the first time, white men will be in the minority.
Watching from the White House, The President and the soon-to-be Justice Jackson soaked in every moment as the votes streamed in. And then that big hug when everything became clear and real.
President Joe Biden and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson hug after watching the Senate vote on her nomination to associate justice on the US Supreme Court, from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, on April 7, 2022.
The vote to confirm Judge Jackson came after 19 hours of contentious and nasty confirmation hearings where Republicans grilled her mercilessly saying she is soft on crime among other things. However, three Republicans, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah joined Democrats to vote for Jackson. Democrats didn’t need Republican votes to confirm her but the President loved to have that bi-partisan confirmation vote. Judge Jackson’s confirmation is a huge moment for President Biden and the country.
Judge Jackson’s confirmation doesn’t change the balance of the conservative majority of the court but she brings significant experience the court has never had.
She will be a Supreme Court Justice-in-waiting until the end of the Summer whenJustice Stephen Breyer who Jackson had clerked for and is replacing, retires.
Until she takes over from Justice Breyer, Judge Jackson will continue to serve as Judge on the DC Circuit and recuse herself from all cases.
President Biden nominated Judge Brown Jackson back in February and will introduce the new Justice Ketanji Jackson to the nation on Friday.