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Ketanji Jackson Makes History as First Black Woman to Serve in US Supreme Court

Ketanji Brown Jackson, a 51-year-old lady has made history as the first black woman to serve in the United States of America (USA) Supreme Court in its more than 200-year history.

Ketanji, a former liberal appeals court judge, was confirmed on Thursday, April 7, after overcoming an acrimonious Senate approval process.

Ketanji, who had been nominated by President Joe Biden, earned narrow, though very important bipartisan support after three Republicans voted in her favour.

The vote was 53 to 47, with all the 50 being Democrats. The three moderate Republicans who supported her include senators Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine.

The lady now becomes the 116th justice of the supreme court. She will replace the 83-year-old Stephen Breyer who intends to retire from the apex court in a few months.

Barack Obama and Katenji Jackson. PHOTO | COURTESY

With Ketanji being elected as the first black woman in the court, it also means that for the first time, the white men are in the minority.

Her appointment was presided by Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to serve as US vice-president.

She reportedly called for the final vote for Ketanji’s nomination with a smile on her face and the chamber broke into loud applause when the judge was confirmed.

Several top leaders trooped to social media to congratulate her.

Barack Obama said: “This is a great day for America, and a proud moment in our history. Judge Jackson has the integrity, passion for the law, and experience to be an outstanding Supreme Court Justice — and these last few weeks have made it even clearer. America will be a better place with her voice and example on the bench.”

Joe Biden saidL: “Judge Jackson’s confirmation was a historic moment for our nation. We’ve taken another step toward making our highest court reflect the diversity of America. She will be an incredible Justice, and I was honored to share this moment with her.”

Charty Ngilu said: “History takes another crack at the proverbial glass ceiling as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed as Justice of the US Supreme Court. The first ever Black woman to be elevated to the pinnacle of the Judicial branch. What an uplifting and inspiring moment for the girl child!”

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Christopher Poulos said: “Congrats! Justice Brown Jackson is first Black woman to sit on the Court and she has actual experience representing clients in criminal court as a public defender.”


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