Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman confirmed to the Supreme Court, on Friday touted her rise to the top U.S. court as a step toward the country realizing its ideals.
“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 said in a speech outside the White House.
“But, we’ve made it. We’ve made it, all of us,” she said.
The Senate confirmed Jackson to the high court in a 53-47 vote on Thursday. Three Republicans joined all Democrats in support of her nomination.
The 51-year-old federal judge will replace Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, when he retires at the end of the court’s current term. Jackson previously clerked for Breyer, who has served as an associate justice for nearly 28 years.
Though her ascension to the bench is assured, Jackson will not become a Supreme Court associate justice until Breyer steps down later this year. Only then can she take her judicial oath and become Justice Jackson.
Once she does, Jackson will join a court that has grown substantially more conservative following the appointment of three of former President Donald Trump’s nominees. Her addition will maintain the size of the court’s liberal wing, which is outnumbered 6-3 by the conservative bloc.
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