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Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed to Become the First Black Woman U.S. Supreme Court Justice

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Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has made history as the first Black woman to be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. After multiple days of intense questioning at the Senate hearing, and thorough deliberation from U.S. senators, Judge Jackson will be an associate justice of the highest court in the nation, a role she'll be appointed to for life.

The 51-year-old D.C. native served as district judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia from 2013 to 2021. She was then appointed to fill the seat left vacant Attorney General Merrick Garland in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by President Joe Biden.

In addition to being the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, Jackson will also be the first justice to have experience as a public defender. As an assistant public defender from 2005-2007, Jackson says she argued before the appeals court about 10 times. The two-time Harvard grad represented several defendants who otherwise couldn't afford private counsel.

President Biden eagerly announced his nomination for Judge Jackson to the Supreme Court on February 25th, in a tweet from the POTUS account.

"I'm proud to announce that I am nominating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court," Biden said in the tweet. "She is one of our nation's brightest legal minds and will be an exceptional Justice."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the final vote on Wednesday evening, and expressed his praise for Judge Jackson ahead of the final confirmation vote on Thursday.

"It's a joyous, momentous, groundbreaking day," he said. "Later this afternoon, the Senate will fulfill its constitutional duty to finally confirm this remarkable and groundbreaking jurist… In the 233-year history of the Supreme Court, never, never has a Black woman held the title of Justice. Ketanji Brown Jackson will be the first and I believe the first of more to come."

Early Thursday afternoon, the senate voted to end the debate on Judge Jackson's nomination, removing the last roadblock to her final confirmation. Republicans Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski voted with all 50 democrats to move proceedings along.

Vice President Kamala Harris announced Judge Jackson's confirmation shortly after. By a bipartisan vote of 53-47, the United States Senate officially confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve as an Associate Justice on the United State Supreme Court at 2:19 p.m.. 

Jackson is not expected to start her new role until Justice Stephen Breyer retires this summer. She will then begin hearing cases once the next term begins in October. 

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