A Necessary Change

The First Black Woman to Serve as a Supreme Court Justice



Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson listens during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, March 21, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

   Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to the Supreme Court which makes her the 116th justice and the first black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. 

   President Joe Biden pledged during his campaign that he would select an African American woman for the Court, in order for the government to truly reflect America, which he fulfilled through his nomination of Jackson.

   The newest justice had the bipartisan support of the Senate which is reflected in the final vote tally of 53-47. All of the fifty Democrats were supported by three Republicans. 

   She will be joining a court that has grown substantially more conservative as a result of President Donald Trump’s nominees. Her confirmation will still leave the liberal wing of the Court outnumbered 6-3.

   Jackson is Biden’s first Supreme Court nominee and she was selected to fill the seat of the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, the current court’s oldest member.

   The plentiful career of Jackson qualifies her to be a Supreme Court Justice through her work as an attorney and judge. She earned her law degree from Harvard and has served for several years as a federal public defender along with work in private practice.

   Jackson was nominated by President Barack Obama to be a district court justice for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and was confirmed with bipartisan support. Later she became a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

   Her experience is unique for the bench as she will be the first Supreme Court justice to have served as a public defender.

   The appointment of Jackson is believed to be a significant element of Biden’s legacy, yet we will have to wait for Jackson to take the bench. She will fill the seat once Justice Stephen Breyer retires at the end of the Supreme Court’s term this summer.

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