Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson Approved by the Senate

Daniela Navarrete, Editorial Writer

Ketanji Brown Jackson, the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court, has finally been approved by the senate. This means that she is effectively on her way to becoming a Supreme Court Justice sometime in the fall, when Stephen Breyer, a current Supreme Court Justice, will retire.

Breyer is liberal leaning, meaning that Jackson’s appointment will not change the ideological balance of the court. It will still have 6 conservative leaning justices and 3 liberal leaning justices.

As a result, it might not be immediately obvious that this is a very big deal, but it is. Jackson will be the very first black woman to serve in the highest court of the nation. She will join the names of other pioneers in the Supreme Court who have been “firsts.” Among these are Thurgood Marshall (first African American), Sandra Day O’Connor (first woman), and Sonia Sotomayor (first latina woman).

On Thursday, when she was confirmed by the Senate, one social media user on Instagram said what many people were thinking: “Anyone just hear a glass ceiling shatter?” Slowly but surely, there is progress being made to make the Supreme Court and the government in general more inclusive.

Aditionally, Jackson’s appointment will make it possible for Biden to fulfill one of his campaign promises. In March of 2020, Biden assured, “If I’m elected as President and have the opportunity to appoint someone to the courts, I’ll appoint the first Black woman to the court. It’s required that they have representation now — it’s long overdue.”

Her confirmation was the result of a vote in the Senate that only required a simple majority. With the Senate currently at a 50-50 split between Republicans and Democrats, her 53 to 47 win means that three conservative senators voted against their party. These were Senators Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

As for Jackson herself, the most notable of her experience is her work as an assistant federal public defender. No other member of the supreme court has experience as a public defender, so it is believed and hoped that she will be able to provide a fresh perspective on cases because of this.

While some people believe this will make her “soft” on criminals, she has shown to hold a lot of moderate ideas and is by no means the left extremist she was portrayed as by many members of the Republican Party. For now, only time will tell what decisions she will make. Regardless, it is definitely a matter to celebrate.