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Ketanji Brown Jackson confirms in Supreme Court that it went down in history as the first black female judge

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Washington – The Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Thursday to the Supreme Court, consolidating its place in history as the first black woman to serve in the country’s Supreme Court.

Jackson’s confirmation as 116th judge in US history received bipartisan support with a final vote of 53 against 47 in the upper house. Three Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah, joined all 50 Democrats in support of presidential candidate Biden. Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman and the first colored woman to hold the role, chaired the Senate during the vote.

“During this vote, 53 votes were in favor.” “No, 47, and this nomination has been confirmed,” Harris said, eliciting applause from senators.

Jackson’s appointment to the Supreme Court is likely to be a significant part of Mr. Biden’s legacy and was his first opportunity to make his mark in the Supreme Court. But Jackson will not immediately take the bench, like Judge Stephen Breer, whose place she will take ready to retire at the end of the powers of the Supreme Court this summer.

Mr. Biden watched the vote with Jackson in Roosevelt Hall at the White House. Photographers recorded the two hugging as the Senate surpassed the threshold required for its approval.

Biden
President Biden hugs Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as they watch the Senate vote on her approval from Roosevelt Hall of the White House in Washington on Thursday, April 7, 2022.

Susan Walsh / AP


“This is a wonderful day, a joyous day that inspires a day for the Senate, the Supreme Court and the United States,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said before the vote. “Today is one of the brightest lights, and let’s hope it’s a metaphor, a sign that there are still many bright lights ahead.”

The approval of Jackson’s candidacy by the evenly divided Senate completed the confirmation process, which was marked by attempts by Republicans to show her as an activist judge who passes laws from the bench.

Their criticism, stemming from a recording of Jackson’s verdicts on child pornography when she was a judge of a federal court of first instance, failed to thwart efforts by the White House and Democratic Senate leaders to disrupt bipartisan support for Jackson’s nomination, breaking the party’s polarization. Confirmation of the Supreme Court. But the accusations did provide Republicans with food like them position themselves as a law enforcement party in the run-up to the November by-elections.

Senate leaders quickly began the approval process after Mr. Biden, former chairman of the Senate Legal Affairs Committee, Jackson announced as his election to the Supreme Court in late February. By choosing Jackson, Mr Biden has fulfilled his promise in the 2020 presidential campaign to nominate the first black woman to the High Court.

During a confirmation hearing that lasted four days in March, Jackson endured nearly 24 hours of interrogation from 22 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, after which the panel came to a standstill on Monday in approving her candidacy along party lines.

In the Judicial Committee votes 11-11 votes forced to a procedural vote in the full Senate to nominate Jackson. As the upper house voted to withdraw Jackson’s candidacy from the committee, and three Republicans joined the Democrats in the vote, efforts highlighted how fierce the recent battle for confirmation and the nearly united Republican opposition against her nomination have become.

Ahead of the vote, Murkowski said in a statement expressing her support for Jackson that her decision was based in part on her refusal to “corrosively politicize the process of examining candidates for the Supreme Court, which is getting worse on both sides of the aisle.” reality. “

Jackson will join the Supreme Court after working for nearly a year in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, considered the country’s second-largest court. In his first term in the Supreme Court, Jackson will hear from Fr. a couple of cases related to admission policy at Harvard College and the University of North Carolina as well redistribution and religious freedom controversy. Jackson has promised to give up with a law degree at Harvard as she is a member of the school’s supervisory board, one of its two governing bodies.

Although her appointment will not change the ideological composition of the Supreme Court, which boasts a conservative majority of 6-3, Jackson will become the second youngest judge at the age of 51, which is likely to guarantee decades of service. Her appointment also means that two African-Americans will sit in the Supreme Court at the same time and for the first time four women in the Supreme Court will work together.

Jackson also brings professional diversity to the dock by serving as an assistant attorney general and in federal court in Washington. There has never been a Supreme Court judge working as a public defender, and Judge Sonia Satamayor is the only current member of the court who has served in the U.S. District Court. She was also a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission and worked in private practice after graduating from Harvard and Harvard Law School.

During her confirmation hearings, Jackson demonstrated the arch of the country’s history through the history of her life and the lives of her parents – from her mother and father attending segregated schools in Florida, to her readiness to become the first black woman to sit on a national high court instance “in one generation”. Celebrating her legal career, she promised to be an independent lawyer who approaches the case from a position of neutrality.

“I decide cases from a neutral position. I evaluate the facts, as well as interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me, without fear or assistance, in accordance with my oath,” she told senators at the approval hearing. “I know that my role as a judge is limited, that the Constitution gives me the right only to decide cases and disputes that are properly represented, and I know that my judicial role is further limited to careful observance of precedents.”

These assurances, however, did little to convince most Republican senators.

Many objected to Jackson’s refusal to name her judicial philosophy, which she called a multi-step methodology, and her unwillingness to take a position on adding seats to the Supreme Court, even if they recognized her legal qualifications. However, the most frequent criticism of Jackson was focused on sentencing criminals in child pornography cases, which, according to Republican senators, are repeatedly lower than federal recommendations.

“What was revealed in the Senate trial was alarming,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said during a review of Jackson’s recording. “In Judge Jackson’s courtroom, the simple legal text and clear intentions of Congress do not coincide with what the judge acknowledges, this is her personal policy disagreement.”

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Monday that if Republicans controlled the Senate, Jackson would not have received a confirmation hearing. He also predicted that if the Republican Party won a majority in the upper house, Democrat-nominated candidates would be rejected if they were declared too liberal.

“We have to be like trained seals here, clapping our hands when you appoint a liberal,” Graham said. “It won’t work.”

The South Carolina senator was one of three Republicans, along with Collins and Murkowski, who supported Jackson’s nomination to DC, but he intends to vote against her approval in the Supreme Court.

Democrats, meanwhile, have sought throughout the approval process to emphasize the historical nature of Jackson’s nomination and final Senate approval.

“With the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson at the country’s highest court, we are not only making history, we are continuing the great American tradition of elevating one of our country’s best and brightest legal minds to a well-deserved position,” the Senate said. This was stated by Chairman of the Legal Committee Dick Durbin in the Senate. “No one deserves this high honor anymore. As we have learned over the last month, she is the best of us.”

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