The Senate has just confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
The chamber approved her nomination in a largely partisan vote of 53 to 47. Three Republican senators – Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Utah’s Mitt Romney – voted with the chamber’s 50 Democrats to approve her nomination.
The 47 “nay” votes were all cast by Republicans.
Speaking before the vote, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the day “wonderful,” “joyous,” and “inspiring” not only for the Supreme Court, but also for the country, referring to the historic nature of Jackson’s confirmation. “[B]y confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson, we are taking a bold step forward to reaching our country’s promise,” he said.
President Biden nominated Jackson, a judge on the D.C. U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since 2021, to the Supreme Court earlier this year, after Justice Stephen Breyer announced that he would be stepping down.
Following a three-day Senate hearing in March, Jackson’s nomination advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee following a special vote in the chamber on Tuesday. Murkowski, Romney, and Collins, who had each said they would support Jackson, voted with the Democrats to advance her nomination out of the Committee and to a vote in the Senate, assuring Jackson’s eventual confirmation.
Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman, the first Black woman, and the first person of South Asian descent to be elected Vice President, and who presided over the session, was visibly pleased when announcing the final vote to the chamber.
“This nomination is confirmed,” a smiling Harris said.
Jackson will be sworn in following Breyer’s official retirement. He is expected to step down sometime this summer.