Ketanji Brown Jackson became the 116th Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on April 7, 2022. President Joe Biden nominated her to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who will retire this summer. The Senate confirmed Justice Jackson into the Supreme Court with a vote of 53–47.
This landmark vote will undoubtedly be written into history books, as Justice Jackson is the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
The confirmation of Justice Jackson is a monumental step forward in the representation of both women and people of color in positions of power. Despite the close vote, three republicans crossed political lines to vote in favor of Justice Jackson.
Many people expressed their support for her nomination. Rep. Cori Bush tweeted, “Happy Ketanji Brown Jackson Day,” and Rep. Terri Sewell shared a tweet of women from the Congressional Black Caucus holding shirts that say, “Black Women are Supreme!”
In all of history, there have only been two other Black members of the Supreme Court. The first was Justice Thurgood Marshall, who began to serve in 1967 and retired in 1991. The other Black justice, Clarence Thomas, has held his seat since 1991.
Justice Brown Jackson’s spot as the third Black member of the Supreme Court is an incredible milestone. Additionally, she is also the sixth woman to ever be a justice on the Supreme Court.
The appointment of Justice Brown Jackson serves as a spark of hope for many people. Sen. Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, is quoted in the New York Times saying, “Even in the darkest times, there are bright lights. Today is one of the brightest lights. Let us hope it’s a metaphor, an indication of many bright lights to come.”
The video footage of Justice Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing is moving. Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to be vice president, presided over the vote. After the clerk read the list of senators and their votes, the results showed Justice Brown Jackson’s confirmation with the “ayes” being 53 and the “nays” being 47. A roaring applause echoed off the walls of the courtroom as Vice President Harris revealed the outcome of the vote. April 7, 2022 certainly will be a day to remember.
Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is often referred to as KBJ in an endearing homage to the late justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG), will continue on as a role model to many people.