Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed as the first Black female Supreme Court Justice
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Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed as the first Black female Supreme Court Justice

History has been made in the US Supreme Court as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed as the first Black female justice.

 Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed as the first Black female Supreme Court justice for the first time in its 233-year history.

Her appointment was sealed by a vote of 53 to 47 in the Senate judiciary committee, with Republican senators Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine declaring their support for Judge Jackson.

Her confirmation followed a series of gruelling questions from Republican senators as part of confirmation hearings.

“There is an absurdity to this that is almost comical if it was not so dangerous,” Senator Cory Booker said at line of questioning, while writer Tayo Bero described the hearings as “a scene of childish political theatre, thanks to Senate Republicans”.

However, Jackson was praised for her dignified, measured demeanour throughout the proceedings. 

Ketanji Brown Jackson and President Joe Biden watch her Supreme Court confirmation
Ketanji Brown Jackson and President Joe Biden watch her Supreme Court confirmation

Reactions to her appointment quickly spread across social media, with President Joe Biden sharing his congratulations alongside the news. “Historic moment for our courts and for our country. Congratulations, Judge Jackson,” he wrote alongside a video of Jackson watching her confirmation, which was delivered by Vice President Kamala Harris.

“The Senate has confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the United States Supreme Court.

This is a historic day for America,” tweeted Harris, later adding: “Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson made history today. Judge Jackson is a hero to so many Americans across our country. She will be the first Black woman on the highest court in the land.”

“Congratulations to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for her appointment to the Supreme Court. This is a great day for America, and a proud moment in our history,” shared former President Barack Obama.

“I was so moved to see Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed this afternoon,” former First Lady Michelle Obama added.

“Like so many of you, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride — a sense of joy — to know that this deserving, accomplished Black woman will be a part of the highest court in the land.”

Senator Cory Booker, an outspoken supporter of Judge Jackson’s wrote: “Let us rejoice! Ketanji Brown Jackson will be America’s next Supreme Court Justice.”

Hilary Clinton stressed the importance of the historic moment, writing: “Without the commitment of voters and organizers to take back the Senate and White House, this historic moment might not have happened.

Well done. Onward.”

As The Guardian notes, at 51, Judge Jackson is young enough to serve on the court for decades. Her ascension, however, will do little to tilt the ideological balance of the high court, dominated by a 6-3 conservative majority. But it does mean for the first time in the court’s history that white men are in the minority.

Actor Viola Davis shared her well-wishes for Judge Jackson, writing: “Congratulations Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson!!! You have made history!”

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Images: Getty