US Senate expected to vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson | News
If confirmed, Jackson would become the first Black woman in history to serve on the US Supreme Court.
The United States Senate is expected to vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, making her the first Black woman to serve as a justice in the country’s highest court.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the chamber would vote on Thursday, first to end debate on the matter and then to confirm Jackson.
The announcement comes after three Republicans – Maine Senator Susan Collins, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Utah Senator Mitt Romney – said they would vote to confirm Jackson, whose nomination was announced by President Joe Biden on January 25.
The 100-seat US Senate is divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans, with US Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote. The three Republican supporters for Jackson make her confirmation a certainty.
“It will be a joyous day,” Schumer said late Wednesday evening. “Joyous for the Senate, joyous for the Supreme Court, joyous for America.”
Beyond breaking barriers as the first Black woman on the bench, 51-year-old Jackson, if confirmed, would also become only the third Black American ever to serve as a Supreme Court Justice.
Ideologically liberal, Jackson will be joining a court that is dominated 6-3 by conservatives. She will be replacing 83-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his retirement in January.
Breyer had faced increased pressure to step down from the lifelong post after the death of fellow liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg allowed former President Donald Trump to nominate his third nominee to the bench – Amy Coney Barrett.
Barrett was confirmed by the then-Republican controlled Senate in the waning days of Trump’s presidency.
While justices on the Supreme Court are meant to be apolotical, confirmation hearings have become politically fraught affairs.
Republicans spent the hearings interrogating Jackson’s sentencing record on the federal bench, including the sentences she handed down in child pornography cases, which they argued were too light.
Democrats and Jackson said she was in line with other judges in her decisions.
“I have been a judge for nearly a decade now, and I take that responsibility and my duty to be independent very seriously,” Jackson said during the hearings. “I decide cases from a neutral posture. I evaluate the facts, and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me, without fear or favor, consistent with my judicial oath.”
She told legislators her life had been shaped by her parents’ experiences with racial segregation and civil rights laws that were enacted 10 years before she was born.
With her parents and family sitting behind her, she told the panel that her “path was clearer” than theirs as a Black American.
Jackson attended Harvard University, served as a public defender, worked at a private law firm and was appointed as a member of the US Sentencing Commission in addition to her nine years on the federal bench.