Senate confirms Jackson for SCOTUS


(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 5, 2022.

Patrick Kane, World News Editor

On Feb. 25, President Joe Biden nominated D.C. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court. After speaking with members of the Senate and an unorthodox series of confirmation hearings, Jackson was confirmed to the Supreme Court, becoming the first black woman to serve on the nation’s highest judicial body.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted in an 11-11 tie to advance Jackson’s nomination to a floor vote (in a Senate committee, ties go to the affirmative) after a continuous hearing process that included Jackson’s record concerning cases involving child pornography cases and the definition of womanhood.

More hearings were held by the Senate at large, and on Apr. 7, Jackson was confirmed by a vote of 53-47. Every Democrat and Independent (including conservative Dems like Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin) voted to confirm Jackson. They were joined by three moderate Republicans: Maine Sen. Susan Collins, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney.

After her confirmation, Jackson spoke at a White House ceremony, saying, “It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, but we’ve made it. We’ve made it. All of us.” Biden remarked, “This is going to let so much sun shine on so many young women, so many young Black women, so many minorities, it is real.”

Elizabeth Stiles, professor of Political Science at John Carroll University and faculty advisor of the Pre-Law Society, remarked on Jackson’s historic confirmation. “The confirmation of the first-ever African-American woman is a milestone for the court and the country.  It is even more symbolically impactful that the first woman of color VP presided over the Senate as it made its vote.”

“The Democrats voted in unison with 3 cross-over votes from Republicans so the vote of VP Harris was not necessary. Justice Brown’s confirmation, though inspiring for members of under-represented groups, is not expected to change the outcome of many SCOTUS decisions as the court retains its conservative majority.”