WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States Senate confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court on Thursday, shattering a historic barrier by securing her place as the first black female justice and giving President Joe Biden a bipartisan endorsement for his effort to diversify the court.
Jackson, a 51 year-old appeals court judge with nine years experience on the federal bench, was confirmed 53-47, mostly along party lines but with three Republican votes.
Presiding was Vice President Kamala Harris, also the first Black woman to reach that high office.
Jackson will take her seat when Justice Stephen Breyer retires this summer, solidifying the liberal wing of the 6-3 conservative-dominated court.
She joined Biden at the White House to watch the vote, embracing as it came in.
During the four days of Senate hearings last month, Jackson spoke of her parents' struggles through racial segregation and said her “path was clearer” than theirs as a black American after the enactment of civil rights laws.
She attended Harvard University, served as a public defender, worked at a private law firm and was appointed as a member of the US Sentencing Commission.
Jackson will be just the third black justice, after Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and the sixth woman.
She will join three other women, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan Amy Coney Barrett – meaning that four of the nine justices will be women for the first time in history.