Ketanji Jackson’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court was on Thursday confirmed by the United States Senate, making her the first Black woman in the nation’s history to serve on its highest court.
The Senate confirmed Ms Jackson’s historic nomination in a 53-47 vote on Thursday afternoon.
In addition to being the first Black woman on the bench, 51-year-old Ms Jackson also becomes the third Black American ever to serve as a Supreme Court justice.
“This is a wonderful day, a joyous day and an inspiring day for the Senate with the Supreme Court and for the United States of America,” Al Jazeera quoted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer as saying. “Judge Jackson is in every sense and by all measures a brilliant jurist.”
According to Al Jazeera, Ms Jackson’s confirmation process highlighted deep partisan divisions in the U.S., with Republicans seeking to paint the longtime jurist and U.S. appeals court judge as a “radical”, while Democrats stood staunchly behind her.
While most Republicans on Thursday voted against her joining the top court, three GOP senators – Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Utah’s Mitt Romney – voted in favour on Thursday, effectively sealing her nomination in the evenly-divided chamber.
Ideologically liberal, Jackson will be joining a court that is dominated 6-3 by conservatives. She will be replacing 83-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his retirement in January.
Breyer had faced increased pressure to step down from the lifelong post after the death of fellow liberal Justice Ruth Ginsburg allowed former President Donald Trump to nominate his third nominee to the bench – Amy Barrett.
Ms Barrett was confirmed by the then-Republican-controlled Senate during Mr Trump’s administration.
Ms Jackson attended Harvard University, served as a public defender, worked at a private law firm and was appointed as a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission in addition to her nine years on the federal bench.
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