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 Ketanji Brown Jackson
Ketanji Brown Jackson seen at her nomination in MarchImage: Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo/picture alliance
Rule of LawUnited States of America

Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed to Supreme Court

April 7, 2022

Jackson is the first Black woman to serve as a justice in the US Supreme Court. Three Republican Senators supported her nomination, tipping a narrow vote in her favor.


First Black woman confirmed for Supreme Court

The US Senate on Thursday confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, making her the first-ever Black female justice. 

Jackson was confirmed by a 53-47 vote mainly on party lines, but with three Republicans voting in her favor. 

Her place on the court, a lifetime appointment, is seen as a victory for President Joe Biden and his effort to diversify the US' top court. Biden called the confirmation "a historic moment for our nation" in a post on Twitter. 

Law professor on Jackson appointment

"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," Biden wrote. 

During his presidential campaign, Biden has promised to put a Black woman on the Supreme Court. 

"This is a tremendously historic day in the White House and in the country, and this is a fulfillment of a promise the president made to the country,'' said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Jackson to apply the law 'without fear or favor'

Jackson is taking over the seat vacated by Justice Stephen Breyer, who is retiring this summer.

She is an alumnus of Harvard University and has served as a public defender, worked at a private law firm and was appointed as a member of the US Sentencing Commission, an independent branch of the Justice Department that, among other things, assesses sentencing guidelines and fairness in the US.

Ahead of her confirmation vote, she went through four days of hearings in the US Senate last month. 

Jackson told members of the Judiciary Committee about her parents' struggles through racial segregation, saying her "path was clearer'' than theirs as a Black American thanks to the enactment of civil rights laws.

She vowed to apply the law "without fear or favor.'' Jackson was subject to Republican criticisms for her past work, as they attempted to portray her as too lenient on criminals she had sentenced.

Most diverse Supreme Court in US history

With Jackson's confirmation, four of the nine justices on the Supreme Court will be women for the first time in US history. 

She will be the third Black justice, after Thurgood Marshall, who died in 1993, and Clarence Thomas, who currently serves. 

She will join three other women, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan Amy Coney Barrett 

Jackson will take her seat in the Supreme Court after Justice Stephen Breyer retires this summer.

Her victory solidifies the liberal wing of the 6-3 conservative-dominated court.

wmr/msh (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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