U.S. Confirms First Black Female Supreme Court Judge


Andrew Harnik - AP Photo

Photo by Andrew Harnik for AP News https://apnews.com/article/ketanji-brown-jackson-joe-biden-history-a21e7efb46744abaf5f9ed64b22b192a/gallery/fc92d83d6afa4149b99a90b4857bbab8

Madisen Tucker, Editor-in-Chief

On Thursday, April 7 the Senate confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. This confirmation marks the first time that a Black woman has ever been elevated to the judicial branch.

Jackson is also the first public defender to serve on the Supreme Court.

“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States,” Judge Jackson said on the South Lawn of the White House. “[But] we’ve made it. We’ve made it. All of us.”

After numerous attempts by the Republican party to light Judge Jackson as a liberal extremist, a 53-47 vote finalized her confirmation. Three Republican party members stepped across party lines to show their support for Jackson.

“After weeks and weeks of racist, misogynistic and stomach-churning attacks, we cannot wait to finally call her Justice Jackson,” Derrick Johnson, the president of the N.A.A.C.P. said.

Jackson is now slated to replace Justice Stephen G. Breyer at the end of the court’s session this summer when he retires.

“Even in the darkest times, there are bright lights,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, said. “Today is one of the brightest lights. Let us hope it’s a metaphor, an indication of many bright lights to come.”

Although galleries at the capitol were filled with supporters cheering for the newest judge, not everyone was in support of the vote.

Republican Senator of Kentucky and minority leader Mitch McConnell turned his back and left the chamber.

“When it came to one of the most consequential decisions a president can make, a lifetime appointment to our highest court, the Biden administration let the radicals run the show,” McConnell said.

Other Republican senators questioned the judicial philosophy of Judge Jackson, citing her softness towards the sentencing of those convicted of child pornography during her time as a defense lawyer.

Senator Ted Cruz accused Jackson of having a “natural inclination in the direction of the criminal.”

Aside from the claims by McConnell, Cruz and more, other Republican senators were hesitant to back her due to her lack of philosophy.

“Judge Jackson has impeccable credentials and a deep knowledge of the law, but at every turn this week she not only refused to claim originalism as her judicial philosophy,” Senator Ben Sasse said in his statement on why he voted no. “She refused to claim any judicial philosophy at all.”

Regardless of the political divide of Judge Jackson’s confirmation, there is no denying that it has created an impact in America.

“Today is a good day, a day that history is going to remember,” President Biden said. “And in the years to come, they’re going to be proud of what we did.”

During his time campaigning when his approval rates were lower, the president had promised Americans that he would appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court as soon as he was given the chance.

Vice President Harris addressed the crowd on the South Lawn, mentioning that she wrote a letter to her goddaughter prior to the vote.

“Her braids are just a little longer than yours,” Harris said to Jackson. “[As] I wrote to her, I told her what I knew this would mean for her life and all that she has in terms of potential.”

People around the world will watch to see what Jackson will do with her term.



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