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Senate confirms Ketanji Brown Jackson as Supreme Court Justice

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Senate Judiciary Committee/Released)
April 07, 2022

The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to confirm judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Senate confirmed Brown Jackson on a vote of 53-47. All 48 Democrats and two Independent Senators voted in favor of Brown Jackson’s nomination, along with Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah.

Brown Jackson graduated from Harvard. In 2009, then-President Barack Obama nominated her to serve vice chair of the United States Sentencing Commission. She then went on to serve on the U.S. District Court for Washington D.C.

In 2021, Biden nominated Brown Jackson to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Collins and Murkowski also voted in favor of her 2021 nomination, while Romney voted against that nomination.

With Thursday’s Senate vote, Brown Jackson is set to become the first black female to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brown Jackson will replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who informed President Joe Biden in January of his plans to retire from the court. Breyer will retire at the end of the current Supreme Court term, which will likely end sometime between late June and early July. 

Brown Jackson is the first justice that Biden has nominated to the highest U.S. court since becoming president.

Following the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “HISTORY” with a picture of Brown Jackson.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweeted, “Today, she made history. Congratulations, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson!”

“Let us rejoice! Ketanji Brown Jackson will be America’s next Supreme Court Justice,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, with an image quoting his remarks during her confirmation hearing: When the final vote happens, and you ascend onto the highest court in the land, I’m going to rejoice. And I’m going to tell you right now, the greatest country in the world, the United States of America, will be better because of you.”

Prior to the final vote, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted, “School choice is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. I believe that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson would be a vote to strike down school choice programs across the country.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn tweeted, “Americans want a Supreme Court Justice who will protect our children, liberties, and Constitution. Judge Jackson has made it clear she will be a rubber-stamp for the far left’s agenda, and I cannot in good conscience support her confirmation to the highest court in the land.”

Blackburn and Cruz both raised questions during Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing about her sentencing decisions, including in cases involving child pornography.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tweeted a video of a speech he gave in opposition to Brown Jackson’s confirmation. “If we get in charge of the Senate in 2022, 2023 we have a majority, I can promise you nominees like Judge Jackson will not make it through. […] I promise you that if we were in charge and we had a say, there would be somebody less extreme filling this seat.”