History was made on Thursday after the Senate confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson’s appointment as the 116th justice to the United States Supreme Court.
Brown Jackson’s confirmation makes her the first Black woman to serve on the prestigious bench and the third Black person following Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas.
Three Republican senators voted with Democrats (53-47) to confirm the highly-decorated magistrate to the Supreme Court. Once Associate Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement on January 27, President Biden nominated Brown Jackson as a potential replacement for the 83-year-old liberal judge who’s served for 28 years in February.
“I am writing to tell you that I have decided to retire from regular active judicial service as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States,” Breyer wrote to the president. “I intend this decision to take effect when the Court rises for the summer recess this year (typically late June or early July), assuming that by then my successor has been nominated and confirmed.”
Although the 51-year-old D.C. circuit court judge has the job, she must wait until the summer to take the coveted seat.
Brown Jackson’s confirmation has not come without challenges. On March 23, Republicans put the judge through the wringer with problematic questions about critical race theory, child pornography and a shady inquiry into alleged donations from far-left advocacy groups.
Despite the biased line of question and covering the judge during the embrangled mess, Sen. Cory Booker praised Brown Jackson while delivering a passionate speech that moved her to tears.
“You got here how every Black woman in America who’s gotten anywhere has done, by being like Ginger Rogers: ‘I did everything Fred Astaire did but backward, in heels. It’s hard for me not to look at you and not see my mom, not to see my cousins — one of them who had to come here and sit behind you. She had to have your back. I see my ancestors and yours.”
“Nobody’s gonna steal that joy,” Booker continued. “Nobody’s taking this away from me.”
Congratulations, Justice Brown Jackson!