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Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed to Supreme Court

Featured, Government

President Biden and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson watching her Senate confirmation vote from the White House on Thursday. | Image by Al Drago, The New York Times

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The United States Senate voted on April 7 to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. With her confirmation, she will sit on the nation’s highest court when current Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

The vote fell largely along partisan lines, with Jackson being confirmed by a 53-47 vote. All fifty Senate Democrats and three Republicans voted in favor. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) crossed the aisle in support of President Biden’s pick.

“In my meetings with Judge Jackson, we discussed in depth several issues that were raised in her hearing. Sometimes I agreed with her; sometimes, I did not. And just as I have disagreed with some of her decisions to date, I have no doubt that, if Judge Jackson is confirmed, I will not agree with every vote that she casts as a Justice,” Collins said in a statement. “That alone, however, is not disqualifying. Indeed, that statement applies to all six Justices, nominated by Republican and Democratic Presidents, whom I have voted to confirm.”

Republicans have spent several weeks criticizing Jackson over her sentencing record, among other decisions, but could not sway Democrats. One of the most vocal opponents has been Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who has contended that Jackson was too lenient when sentencing individuals convicted of possessing child pornography.

“Republicans were clear from the outset that we would assess Judge Jackson’s nomination based on her record and judicial philosophy. In examining these qualities throughout the course of these hearings, it became abundantly clear that her record is radical and that she would be an activist on the Supreme Court,” Sen. Cruz said in a statement.

Cruz continued: “Based on Judge Jackson’s abysmal record on criminal sentencing, the repeated incidents in which she has substituted her political preferences in place of the law, and her inability to explain her judicial philosophy, I voted against confirming her to the Supreme Court.”

Sen. Romney disagreed with Cruz’s stance. He announced on April 4 via Twitter that he would vote in favor of confirming Jackson.

“After reviewing Judge Jackson’s record and testimony, I have concluded that she is a well-qualified jurist and a person of honor,” Sen. Romney wrote. “While I may not agree with every decision she may make on the court, I believe she more than meets the standard of excellence and integrity.”

Sen. Murkowski said that her decision to vote in favor of Jackson also derived from her disapproval of the way GOP members handled themselves during the confirmation hearings.

“My support rests on Judge Jackson’s qualifications, which no one questions,” Murkowski wrote in a press release. “It also rests on my rejection of the corrosive politicization of the review process for Supreme Court nominees, which, on both sides of the aisle, is growing worse and more detached from reality by the year.”

President Biden had made a campaign promise that, should he have the chance during his presidency, he would nominate a black female to the court, which he has now fulfilled.

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