Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Becomes The First Black Woman Confirmed To Serve On Supreme Court

Table Of Contents
  1. Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmation Obtained
  2. Susan Collins Announces Her Support
  3. Graham On the Attack Again
  4. Graham On The Attack
  5. Babies? Racist?
  6. White Privilege Isn’t Real?
  7. McConnell: Undecided
  8. Judge Ketanji Brown’s Harvard Connections Questioned
  9. History Set In Motion
  10. Republicans And White Supremacy vs Ketanji Brown Jackson

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first black woman to be elevated to the Supreme Court when the Democrat-controlled Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s pick today. The announcement was met with joy by Jackson, Biden, Democrats, and the NAACP. The victory came in spite of the wider GOP attempts to smear Jackson’s nam. 

Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmation Obtained

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has become the first black female judge to be elevated to the Supreme Court. This came after the Democrat-controlled Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s pick today. 

With a final vote of 53 to 47, all 50 democratic caucus members supported Jackson. The three GOP senators that voted for are Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney. Vice President Kamala Harris watched over the vote, with Jackson and Biden watching the vote together in the White House.

This means Jackson will take office at the end of the court’s current term in June or July, when Justice Stephen Breyer steps down.  Her appointment will not disrupt the current 6 to 3 conservative balance on the Supreme Court.

“This is a wonderful day, a joyous day, an inspiring day for the Senate, for the Supreme Court and for the United States of America,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), said Thursday, calling Jackson “brilliant,” “beloved,” and saying she “belongs” on the Supreme Court.  “This is one of the great moments of American history,” he said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) unsuccessfully fought against her nomination in recent weeks. “These days, the Senate takes an assertive role. In particular, most senators do not merely check résumés and basic legal qualifications but also look into judicial philosophy,” he said Wednesday. 

McConnell and other GOP limitations have criticized Jackson, a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., for not embracing “originalism,” a framework of narrow constitutional interpretation popular in conservative legal and activist circles. Some have also accused her of having issued lenient sentences in cases involving child exploitation.

Before the vote Thursday, McConnell faulted Jackson for not denouncing “the insane concept of court packing”.  Jackson had declined to answer this and stated that the court’s size is a decision for Congress and not judges. Ironically, this is a similar statement to conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s, who McConnell supported in 2020. 

Collins and Murkowski voted last year to confirm Jackson to the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the job she currently holds. Romney, who voted no last year, said his concerns were alleviated after a long meeting with Jackson.

Romney rejected the criticisms of other Republicans, saying Jackson’s judicial approach is “within the mainstream,” even if he does not expect to agree with all of her rulings. 

“She’s also a highly qualified, intelligent, capable person,” he said in an interview. “And I wish her very best.”

Jackson previously served as a U.S. district court judge, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2013. She also served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission and as a public defender. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is seeking racial and professional diversity in judicial nominees. This means more public defenders and civil rights lawyers, and fewer prosecutors and corporate lawyers. The NAACP celebrated the vote, praising Jackson for overcoming “racist attacks” during the confirmation process.

“Today’s vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court is of enormous consequence to our nation and to history. After weeks and weeks of racist, misogynistic and stomach-churning attacks, we cannot wait to finally call her Justice Jackson,” NAACP President Derrick Johnson said in a statement.

Susan Collins Announces Her Support

GOP Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) was the first Republican to support Jackson, which all but assured her historic confirmation.

It required a second meeting with Jackson for the Maine senator to believe the federal judge and former public defender would not engage in “bending the law to meet a personal preference,” as Collins told The New York Times in an interview.

“In recent years, senators on both sides of the aisle have gotten away from what I perceive to be the appropriate process for evaluating judicial nominees,” said Susan Collins. “In my view, the role under the Constitution assigned to the Senate is to look at the credentials, experience and qualifications of the nominee. It is not to assess whether a nominee reflects the individual ideology of a senator or would vote exactly as an individual senator would want.”

Graham On the Attack Again

Before the confirmations started, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and other GOP senators promised to listen. He said: “I’m going to listen to the evidence, I’m going to listen to the hearings, and by the way she’ll be treated much better than Democrats have typically treated Republican nominees like Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh. It’ll be a respectful, deep dive into her record which I think is entirely appropriate for a lifetime appointment.”

This would turn out to be false. From Marsha Blackburn’s condescending lecture on the “white privilege” and her beliefs that it doesn’t exist, Ted Cruz’s asinine question on if babies could be racists, and Lindsey Graham’s attack on her yesterday. 

It continued throughout the hearing. The South Carolina senator constantly used his time to air known right-wing grievances. He was particular about how Democrats have supposedly mistreated conservative judicial nominees. He went as far as suggesting that Jackson, a Black woman, should be happy about how “easy” her confirmation process has been.

Graham On The Attack

Two words describe Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Jackson: aggressive and combative. 

The senator and Justice Jackson got into an argument on the third day of the hearings. This was after the senator revived a line of attack on the judge’s sentencing record in cases that involved images of child sexual abuse.

For Graham, the exchange was reminiscent of his angry diatribe during the caustic confirmation hearings of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. His display showed a different Lindsey Graham who had voted less than a year ago to confirm Judge Jackson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Graham’s aggressive questioning, which included rhetorical questions, constant interruptions and lectures, showed he was unlikely to vote to confirm her.

Babies? Racist?

Subtlety is not a word in the Republicans’ dictionary. At least not when it comes to Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing. 

From Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Day 1 lecturing about the “so-called white privilege” not existing in America, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) continued on Day 2, grilling Jackson about an anti-racist children’s book, Ibram X. Kendi’s Antiracist Baby. This is a book that is not even included in the school list of anti-racist resources.

“Do you agree with this book that is being taught with kids that babies are racist?” Cruz asked in front of a blown-up poster of one of the book’s pages.

White Privilege Isn’t Real?

Confirmation hearings for Kentanji Brown Jackson began on Monday. Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee were more than a little concerned about President Biden’s choice to replace the former justice, targeting the first female African-American nominee on issues of race and white privilege.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) took centerstage lecturing Jackson that white privilege does not exist in America.   This in spite of multiple studies have proven white privilege and the evidence that, of the 114 justices that have been confirmed to sit on the country’s highest court, only two of them are Black and only one Latina, Justice Sonia Sotomayor.“You serve on the board of a school that teaches, kindergartners, five-year-old children, that they can choose their gender and that teaches them about so-called white privilege,” Blackburn said.

McConnell: Undecided

During the hearings, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said he is undecided about voting to confirm Judge Jackson. McConnell said he was troubled by her refusal to object to expanding the nine-justice court.

McConnell (R-Ky.) said he met with Jackson in his Capitol Hill office last week and asked if she’d oppose expanding the court. “She wouldn’t do that. So, in the meantime, the committee will ask her all the tough questions. I haven’t made a final decision as to how I’m going to vote,” McConnell said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”“I’m going to listen to the evidence, I’m going to listen to the hearings, and by the way she’ll be treated much better than Democrats have typically treated Republican nominees like Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh,” he then added on. “It’ll be a respectful, deep dive into her record which I think is entirely appropriate for a lifetime appointment.”

Judge Ketanji Brown’s Harvard Connections Questioned

In her upcoming Senate confirmation hearing, Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson may be asked if she will recuse herself from one of the first major cases she would be hearing as a justice – a challenge to Harvard University’s use of race as a factor in undergraduate admissions.

Jackson, who is an alumnus of Harvard University and Harvard Law School, is currently sitting on the university’s Board of Overseers whose role is to “provide counsel to the University’s leadership on priorities, plans, and strategic initiatives,” according to its website.

This fall, the justices are expected to hear a challenge to the school’s admissions policy brought by a group of Asian-American students who alleged they were illegally targeted and rejected at a disproportionately higher rate because of their race. Decisions regarding this case could determine the fate of affirmative action policies nationwide.

History Set In Motion

On Friday, February 25, 2022, President Joe Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. The nomination made her the first B lack woman to be nomination to the highest court in the nation. Now, she is the first to sit on that bench.

As he introduced Jackson to the White House, he said it was time for American courts to look like America.

Today, as we watch freedom and liberty under attack abroad, I’m here to fulfill my responsibilities under the Constitution, to preserve freedom and liberty here in the United States of America. For too long, our government, our courts haven’t looked like America. I believe it’s time that we have a court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation with a nominee of extraordinary qualifications, and that we inspire all young people to believe that they can one day serve their country at the highest level.

Republicans And White Supremacy vs Ketanji Brown Jackson

When she was announced, Republican Senators immediately went on the attack, portrayed her as a pawn of the left. 

While Democrats praised her qualifications, Republicans criticized her educational background, record on crime, and the support from left-wing groups. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted, “the radical Left has won President Biden over yet again.”