Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed to the Supreme Court

Ketanji Brown Jackson via Creative Commons

“This is one of the great moments of American history… Today we are taking a giant, bold and important step on the well-trodden path to fulfilling our country’s founding promise. This is a great moment for Judge Jackson, but it is an even greater moment for America as we rise to a more perfect union,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Ketanji Brown Jackson will become the first African American woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court when she is sworn in this summer. Jackson was confirmed with 53 Senators supporting her nomination to the Supreme Court. Of the 53, only three Republicans voted in favor: Mitt Romney (Utah), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine). Jackson has been praised for her legal mind and will undoubtedly add even more legal prowess to the court. 

Jackson’s appointment was not without challenges. She faced stiff opposition from the majority of Senate Republicans. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.) claimed that Jackson was lenient against child abusers. The coalition of Senators claimed that Jackson had given lenient sentences in child pornography cases based on federal statutes. An independent fact-checker has proven those claims false

Several Senators, most notably Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), used the hearing as an opportunity to score points back after contentious hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court appointments. Instead of asking questions that would test Jackson’s legal understanding, they asked her how she would have felt to be treated like other appointees in the past. The behavior of these Senators provided parts of the hearing that came across as jumbled and unorganized.

Before being appointed to the Supreme Court, Jackson attended Harvard Law school and clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer and three other federal judges. Breyer’s retirement created the position she is filling on the Supreme Court. After clerking, Jackson served as a public defender and then as a Federal Trial Court Judge for eight years. Jackson was appointed by Biden to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. in June of 2021. Jackson will be a part of what is expected to be a busy and legally important 2022-2023 cycle set to start in October.

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