For the first time in history, Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed by the Supreme Court

Jackson nominated

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks during his recognition at the Parsons Dinner at the University of Chicago Law School in February 2020. (Lloyd DeGrane via Wikimedia Commons)

On Thursday afternoon, the Senate voted 53 to 47 to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the 116th U.S. Supreme Court justice. Jackson will become the first black woman to serve on the court, fulfilling then-candidate Joe Biden’s campaign promise during the 2020 presidential campaign.

By the time the Senate meets on Thursday, there is little suspense about the outcome of the historic vote. Three Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah — have announced they will support Jackson, giving Jackson the The bipartisan approval that a Biden administration desperately needs. As expected, all 50 Senate Democrats voted for confirmation.

The narrow gap reflects the current polarization around judicial confirmation politics. The three most recent justices — Amy Coney Barrett in 2020, Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, and Neil Gorsuch in 2017 — got their hands on an equally tight vote Confirmed that most of these votes were based on partisan lines. By contrast, some of Jackson’s other would-be colleagues have more bipartisan support: Justice Elena Kagan, for example, was confirmed in 2010 by a vote of 63 to 37, while Chief Justice John Roberts was confirmed by a vote of 78 The vote was confirmed against 22 votes. 2005.

Even before Breyer, 83, announced on Jan. 27 that he planned to step down from the courtroom this summer, Jackson was widely seen as a front-runner to succeed Justice Stephen Breyer. She served seven years as a federal trial judge before being elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2021, often referred to as the second most important court in the United States because of the high-profile cases it hears and because of its Has served as a springboard for several other Supreme Court justices before her. Before becoming a judge, she served as a federal public defender for two years. She will be the first justice ever to hold the position and the first justice with extensive experience representing criminal defendants since Justice Thurgood Marshall.

She was contacted by the White House just three days after Breyer announced her retirement, and Biden nominated Jackson on Feb. 24 to replace Breyer, who had served as a clerk for Breyer, according to Jackson’s submission to the Senate Judiciary Committee. With 50 Democratic votes and the prospect of Vice President Kamala Harris having a decisive vote, even without a Republican senator falling, Jackson’s confirmation appears to begin with the Senate Judiciary Committee’s nomination hearings starting March 21 It has been guaranteed before. Jackson’s pure credentials, conservative lawyers and support groups in key law enforcement, and the historic nature of her nomination appear to have left Republicans with little fodder to attack her nomination.

But a few days before Jackson’s hearing, Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, issued a notice that he intended to question Jackson about what he said was an “order of leniency” against the defendants. Shocking Mode” was convicted of child pornography. (Sentencing experts say Jackson’s sentence actually falls within the mainstream of federal trial judges in such cases.)

Hawley and several other Republican senators who may also have presidential ambitions, including Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, continued the theme during Jackson’s hearing, trying to paint Jackson as ” Weakness against crime”. Cruz also urged Jackson to speak out on other social and academic issues of interest to conservative voters, including critical race theory, an academic field that studies racial bias in the legal establishment, while Sen. Martha Blackburn of Tennessee cited concerns about transgenderism. The Controversial Women’s Sports of Gendered Athletes – Let Jackson Define the Word “Woman”.

Senate Democrats defended Jackson and her record. On the third day of the hearing, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey brought Jackson to tears with a stirring speech, praising Jackson’s “courage and grace” after he was cross-examined by Cotton. Booker told Jackson that “no one is going to steal that joy” from her nomination. “You earned the position,” Booker concluded.

After the Judiciary Committee stalemate along party line, Democrats used procedural rules to move her nomination to the full Senate. Voting began Thursday, shortly before 2 p.m. ET, under the auspices of Vice President Kamala Harris. According to Senate tradition, senators sit at their desks in the Senate and stand up to vote when the clerk takes the call. Since the names are in alphabetical order, Democratic Senator Rafael Warnock of Georgia voted 50 for Jackson, while Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts provided crucial 51st vote. After calling the names of all 100 senators, the vote was 53-46, with Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, yet to vote.

Minutes later, Paul arrived to vote against Jackson’s nomination. When a beaming Harris officially announced Jackson’s confirmation by a vote of 53-47, Democrats rose and burst into applause, while most Republicans left the Senate.

Breyer is expected to remain in court until the justices go on a summer recess in late June or early July. When Jackson takes his place, she is not expected to change the ideological balance on the court, which currently has a 6-3 majority for conservatives. But she will still be stepping into history as the first black woman to sit on the court.

this article is Originally Posted on Howe on the Court.

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