Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes the first African American woman on Supreme Court

Say hello to the newest Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson. The Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee into the courts. Which will make Judge Jackson the first African American woman to serve on the highest court in the nation. 

On Thursday afternoon, various Republican as well as Democratic Senators came together to confirm her into the Supreme Court. The final tally was 53-47, which included votes from Republicans such as Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Mitt Romney. In a field dominated by white males Judge Jackson will bring a fresh perspective to the historically homogeneous court. 

“Judge Jackson’s confirmation was a historic moment for our nation,” Biden tweeted after the vote. “We’ve taken another step toward making our highest court reflect the diversity of America. She will be an incredible Justice, and I was honored to share this moment with her.” 

Judge Jackson’s road to be able to join the justices was not a smooth and straight one. Judge Jackson has been submitted to verbal abuse, vile personal attacks, as well as prejudice both for being a woman and being Black. During her hearings Jackson endured over 23 hours of inquisition, while Republican panelists slung heated accusations about her sentencing record and grilled her on her judicial philosophy. All of the 47 negative votes derived from those who did not wish for Jackson’s ascension, for instance Marsh Blackburn, Josh Hawley, and Ted Cruz have spoken out through press conferences against her. 

“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,” an emotional Jackson stated. “But we’ve made it. We’ve made it – all of us.”

What does becoming a Justice mean for Jackson? Although she will not be officially sworn into being a Justice until Justice Stephen Breyer steps down later this year. She will still exist as a role model for African Americans and women everywhere; currently there are only two African American and four women who serve as Justices. With her own role models being civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as the first Black Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall, this inspires and encourages her to be “up to the task.”

“For all the talk of this historic nomination, and now confirmation, I think of them as the true path breakers. I am just the very lucky first inheritor of the dream of liberty and justice for all,” Jackson asserted.

This means hope, for young African Americans, for young women, for young African American women. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has paved the way for anyone passionate about their dreams. Any person of color or any person who feels like they may not be able to achieve something can now have hope and the motivation to persevere.