Today, the nation is poised to make history by confirming its first Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court. A majority of the Senate is expected to vote in favor of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation this afternoon.
Nominated by President Joe Biden in line with his campaign promise, the White House called Judge Jackson “a brilliant legal mind with the utmost character and integrity.”
The 51-year-old jurist has served at all levels of the justice system, and brings a wide range of legal experience. That includes her work on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, to the eight years she spent as a federal trial court judge, to her early days as a public defender.
“I had the pleasure of speaking with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson earlier this month and it became immediately clear why President Biden chose her,” said Joyce Beatty, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus whose members have hailed the nominee. “Her words, actions, and readiness clearly demonstrate that she has been preparing for this moment her entire life.”
Just as Vice President Kamala Harris shattered barriers, Beatty said Judge Jackson is poised to be the most historic and impactful Supreme Court Justice of the 21st century.
“Judge Jackson will also bring her lifetime of perspective as a Black woman, something our nation’s highest court has never seen. We know that when America’s boardrooms, legislatures, and even the Supreme Court start to resemble America, we all benefit.”
Experts believe Judge Jackson will have the votes to be confirmed. So far, all Democratic Senators have pledged to vote in her favor, as have three Republicans: Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney. While those GOP lawmakers have said they may not agree with her every ruling, they have each reviewed her record and determined her to be a fair, impartial and mainstream judge.
Not only has Judge Jackson earned strong support in the Senate, but she has gained strong support from the public as well, with multiple surveys showing support for confirmation around 60% — the highest since the nomination of Justice John Roberts.
Judge Jackson’s nomination has been supported by a wide range of individuals and groups — from the law enforcement community, including the Fraternal Order of Police and International Association of Chiefs of Police; to conservative and Republican legal and judicial voices, including retired Judges, to domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.
“Every step of the way the Judge has proved herself exceptionally qualified and thoughtful and prepared to serve on the Court,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “As I have said, she encapsulates the three Bs: brilliant, beloved, andbelongs. She belongs on the Supreme Court. It’s now up to us to finish the work that the president entrusted us to do.
“Today is also a joyous celebration in another way: in the 233 year history of the Supreme Court, never – never – has a Black Woman held the title of “Justice.” Ketanji Brown Jackson will be the first, and I believe the first of more to come.”