New Supreme Court Justice appointed

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Maya Brisan, Staff Writer

Ketanji Brown Jackson, a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals, was nominated to be the 116th Supreme Court Justice on Feb. 25 by President Joe Biden. On April 7, she was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 53-47. She is now the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Three Republican senators voted for Jackson: Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. She will be sworn in after Justice Stephen Breyer retires sometime this summer. 

Jackson went to Harvard University for both undergrad and law school and graduated from law school in 1992 with a Juris Doctor degree. Jackson served as a law clerk for four years before working in private practices for three years. She then moved on to be an assistant federal public defender in Washington, D.C., for two years. 

Former president Barack Obama nominated her to be vice chair of the United States Sentencing Commission in 2012, where she served for about four years. Jackson was then nominated by Obama again in 2013 to serve as a judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and was sworn in by Justice Breyer. In 2021, Biden nominated Jackson for the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and she was confirmed with a vote of 53-44.

Collins was the first Republican to announce her support for Jackson, saying that, “Jackson had ‘sterling’ academic and professional credentials,” however, “Collins disagreed with Jackson occasionally during two private meetings, and would likely disagree with some of her decisions on the bench,” according to Louisiana Illuminator. She continued by saying, “That alone, however, is not disqualifying. Indeed, that statement applies to all six Justices, nominated by both Republican and Democratic Presidents, whom I have voted to confirm.”

While Jackson did have some bipartisan support, she won with only a small margin, and only three Republican senators ended up supporting her in the vote and helping her become the next Supreme Court Justice.