Kevin Breuninger, CNBC, April 7, 2022
The Senate on Thursday confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, making her the 116th justice — and the first Black woman — to serve on the top U.S. court.
The 53-47 final vote tally showed bipartisan support for Jackson, with three Republicans joining all Democrats to elevate the 51-year-old federal judge to a lifetime appointment on the high court.
Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman ever to hold that title, presided over the vote to confirm Jackson. Harris appeared to momentarily choke up with emotion as she read out the vote result, which drew a swell of applause and cheering from the Senate floor.
“Judge Jackson’s confirmation was a historic moment for our nation,” Biden said in a tweet after the vote. “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.”
Jackson is also set to become the first Supreme Court justice to have served as a public defender. Democrats have touted that experience as more evidence that Jackson will bring fresh perspective to the historically homogeneous court.
Republicans, however, have tried to wield Jackson’s public-defender experience against her by accusing her of sympathizing with the views or actions of some of her past clients.
But after her confirmation hearings, Jackson picked up the support of centrist Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah.