The Senate confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. History has been made! Ketanji Brown Jackson is the first African American woman and former public defender to join the court in its 233 year history. She will begin after Justice Breyer retires at the end of the current term which is in June.
Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to hold the position and one of just 11 Black senators in American history, presided over the vote to confirm. The final vote was 53–47. One of the yes votes was cast by Raphael Warnock, the first Black senator from the deep South since Reconstruction and the pastor of Martin Luther King’s church.
The only Black Republican senator, Tim Scott, voted no. They held the vote open for an extra 30 minutes to wait for Rand Paul. He didn’t even come in to the Senate Chambers to vote no from his desk, which is customary. He did it from the cloak room.
Mitch McConnell voted no even though he was a yes vote when confirming her to the federal bench.
Lindsey Graham voted no even though he voted to confirm her twice before.
Ben Sasse, the “good kind of Republican” voted no which surprised no one.
The only 3 Republicans who voted yes were Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney. After the final vote was announced the Democrats leapt to their feet and applauded. The Republicans left the chamber half empty by childishly and rudely walking out. The only one who didn’t turn his back on history or the new Supreme Court Justice was Mitt Romney. He stood and clapped, alone.
Out of the 115 Justices who have served on the court, only five have been women and only two have been Black. When the Supreme Court first met in the Capitol in 1801, one fifth of the nation’s five million people were enslaved.
Kentanji Brown Jackson’s place in history has been confirmed.
Once she’s sworn in the majority of the court will not be white men for the first time in history.
After the vote and the Republicans left, and while everyone was celebrating, Vice President Kamala Harris gave some of her stationary to both senators Cory Booker and Raphael Warnock and invited them each to write a letter to a special Black girl in their lives about the significance of this day.
Speaking of little Black girls, Ketanji Brown Jackson’s daughter, Leila wrote President Obama a letter when she was 11 to ask him to put her mom on the Supreme Court.
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