On Thursday, April 7, Ketanji Brown was voted to become the first black women Supreme Court Justice as the Democratic party voted her in. Joe Biden nominated Brown and she won the vote 53-47 as the Democrats lead the Senate vote. There are currently 6 Republicans and 3 Democratic Supreme Court Justices. Stephen Breyer is expected to step down from his Justice role therefore not affecting the number of Democrats. “On February 25, 2022, President Joe Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the 116th Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court,” states the whitehouse.gov. This is a wonderful day, a joyous day, an inspiring day for the Senate, for the Supreme Court, and for the United States of America," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday. Despite which party you are in support of, this is a historic day for African Americans. Brown previously served as a district court judge in the U.S. which Obama had put her in that spot. Before that, Brown was a public defender for the U.S Sentencing Commission.
Vice President Kamala Harris announced the results of the vote on Thursday and Brown received a standing ovation from inside Capitol Hill. Harris also was a historic vote in U.S history as she became not only the first female Vice President but also the first African American female Vice President. Brown and Biden were seen celebrating together as they watched Harris announce the result. Brown will ultimately be replacing Stephen Breyer sometime this summer after he officially steps down, until then she will remain in her current role. After Breyer announced his retirement from being a Supreme Court Justice, Biden nominated Brown following an extensive search for a new Justice. When Biden was running for President, he made it clear that if he was elected President then he would nominate an African American woman to become the next supreme justice.
Although this historic day, there has been much push back from the Republican party as they expressed their concerns over Brown including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. "I see hallmarks of judicial activism in Judge Jackson's record. Therefore, I will vote no…"We've seen over and over that when judicial activism triumphs over fidelity to the rule of law, our courts mutate, mutate into clumsy proxy battlefields for arguments that belong in this chamber and out in 50 state legislatures, "This is unfair to the American people. It damages our institutions, not the least the courts themselves, said McConnell." Despite these concerns, McConnell said that he has come to terms with the vote considering she will be sworn in for life on the Supreme Court. Senators Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, and Lisa Murkowski were some of the few Republicans who joined in with Democrats to vote for Brown.
Derrick Johnson, the President of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) said “Today’s vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court is of enormous consequence to our nation and history. After weeks and weeks of racist, misogynistic, and stomach-churning attacks, we cannot wait to finally call her Justice Jackson," This vote should be in favor of Joe Biden considering the backlash he has gotten since he took office. American people, despite whether or not they voted for him in the 2020 Presidential election, are criticizing Biden for the recent inflation and cost of living issues. NBC News held a poll about Biden and it resulted in Biden’s job approval rating going down 40 percent. This is the perfect time for a vote like this considering the 2022 midterm elections are coming and Biden would love to get his ratings back up.
“"My parents grew up in a time in this country in which Black children and White children were not allowed to go to school together," Jackson told Booker after the senator asked what values her parents had impressed upon her. "They taught me hard work. They taught me perseverance. They taught me that anything is possible in this great country."” Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader said this was a historic vote for the country and he believes there will be many more black women appointed into these high roles. The 51-year-old was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Miami, Florida. She attended Harvard University for both undergraduate and for Law school. Her father was a lawyer and her mother was a school principal. Brown studied government in college and proved her guidance counselor wrong after she was told to set her standards lower for college. After graduating college, Brown served as a reporter for Time magazine. She then served as a law clerk in Massachusetts. Then in 2009, Obama nominated her as vice chairman of the United States Sentencing Committee.
During her 13-hour long confirmation hearing where she was grilled by Republicans, Brown stood up for herself and defended her philosophy. She stated that she followed Stephen Breyer's theory about “active liberty” which was written about in his book. Therefore making it seem like she was just trying to copy the Democratic Supreme Court Justice. “Senators tried to tie President Joe Biden's Supreme Court nominee to critical race theory, label her an ally of child predators, and demand that she explain her "judicial philosophy." Each time, she refused to take the bait, instead explaining the nuances of her reasoning, something that is all too rare in modern discourse,” according to a USAToday article. Despite the grueling hearing that Brown went through, she made it out alive and is now employed as a Supreme Court Justice for life. Brown will become the 116th justice and is likely to be sworn in sometime in June or July after Breyer steps down from his role. Although she will not change the 6-3 ratio of Republican to Democrat Justices, she will certainly add a different perspective to the court. This has been a historic vote for African Americans in the U.S. and will give hope to any minority looking to make big steps in their career and for the future of the U.S. government.
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