Ketanji Brown Jackson is first Black woman appointed to Supreme Court

by Robin Kemp

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been appointed the first Black woman Supreme Court justice in United States history.

Vice President Kamala Harris, the nation’s first Black woman to hold that position, was visibly delighted as she called for the vote:

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That vote was 53 in favor, 47 opposed. Both Georgia Senators Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff voted in favor. All Democrats voted for the nomination, along with three Republicans (Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah) and two Independents (Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont).

Here is how each member voted:

YEA (53)
Baldwin (D-WI)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Duckworth (D-IL)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hassan (D-NH)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Hirono (D-HI)
Kaine (D-VA)
Kelly (D-AZ)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Lujan (D-NM)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Ossoff (D-GA)
Padilla (D-CA)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Romney (R-UT)
Rosen (D-NV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Sinema (D-AZ)
Smith (D-MN)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Van Hollen (D-MD)
Warner (D-VA)
Warnock (D-GA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

NAY (47)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blackburn (R-TN)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Braun (R-IN)
Burr (R-NC)
Capito (R-WV)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Cramer (R-ND)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Ernst (R-IA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hagerty (R-TN)
Hawley (R-MO)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kennedy (R-LA)
Lankford (R-OK)
Lee (R-UT)
Lummis (R-WY)
Marshall (R-KS)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Shelby (R-AL)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Tuberville (R-AL)
Wicker (R-MS)
Young (R-IN)

Immediately after the vote, Democrats cheered, laughed, and applauded as the Republican opposition walked out of the chamber.

“Under the previous order,” Harris laughed,”the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table, and the President will be immediately notified of the Senate’s actions.”

“Madame President,” Sen. Chuck Schumer replied, “very happily I note the absence of a quorum,” drawing more laughter and applause from the majority in the chamber.

“The clerk will call the roll!” Harris said.

Jackson had been subjected to belittling questioning during her Senate confirmation hearing, particularly from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), to the point where Sen. Cory Booker (D-NY) made an impassioned speech on Jackson’s behalf:

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Before the vote, Warnock thanked Georgians, saying, “the people of Georgia made this appointment possible by making history last year,” and pointing out what Jackson’s appointment meant to Black girls in particular.

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“I want to acknowledge that the historic nature of her appointment isn’t lost on me. Like my brother, Senator Booker, I know what it has taken for Judge Jackson to get to this moment, and nobody’s going to steal my joy. Yes, I’m a Senator. I’m a pastor. But beyond all of that I’m the father of a young black girl. I know how much it means for Judge Jackson to have navigated the double jeopardy of racism and sexism to now stand in the glory of this moment in all of her excellence. For my five year old daughter and for so many young women in our country, but really, if we’re thinking about it right for all of us, seeing judge Jackson ascend to the Supreme Court reflects the promise of progress on which our democracy rests. So what a great day it is in America.

“Today, the word of justice and equal protection under the law becomes flesh and lives among us in new ways. Today, at the highest levels of our government, the administration of our Constitution looks a little bit more like what it says. And it fills me with great pride for our country, how far we’ve come and what we can achieve together.

“Ketanji Brown Jackson is beyond qualified and I’m beyond thrilled to speak for Georgia in voting to confirm her to the United States Supreme Court.”

More to come.

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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