By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
The honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson is making history. Jackson is the 116th justice and the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court nominee following the Senate’s confirmation of her.
The Senate officially confirmed Jackson on Thursday, April 7 with a 53-47 vote. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) sided with the Democrats.
President Joe Biden nominated Jackson in February. Following her confirmation, Biden shared a photo of the two of them on Twitter with the following statement.
“Judge Jackson’s confirmation was a historic moment for our nation. We’ve taken another step toward making our highest court reflect the diversity of America. She will be an incredible Justice, and I was honored to share this moment with her.”
Jackson will replace Associate Justice Stephen Breyer following his retirement, which he first announced in January. Breyer served on the court for more than 27 years, according to NBC News. He was one of three liberal justices on the court.
Following Breyer’s departure later this year, Jackson will join Chief Justice John Roberts alongside Associate Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
The majority of the justices lean conservative, so while Jackson’s confirmation won’t change the ideological makeup at the moment, her presence on the court is still significant.
Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) praised Jackson in a series of tweets leading up to the vote.
“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is a groundbreaking and remarkable jurist. She is brilliant. She is beloved. She belongs on the Supreme Court. And today, the Senate will confirm her as the 116th Supreme Court Justice!”
Followed by, “Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson will now be the first Black woman and the first former federal public defender to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States of America.”
Romney issued a statement on his intention to vote for Jackson on Monday, April 4. He noted that she is a well-qualified jurist and a person of honor.
“While I do not expect to agree with every decision she may make on the Court, I believe that she more than meets the standard of excellence and integrity,” Romney stated.
According to NPR, Vice President Kamala Harris was overjoyed after the vote and expressed her excitement to reporters while leaving the Senate.
“It’s an extraordinary day and I think it’s a very important statement today about who we are as a nation that we put Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on the highest court of our land. So let us all I think rejoice,” Harris said, according to CNN.
At the moment, Jackson serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She will be sworn in later this year.