New US Supreme Court Justice confirmed
The US Senate voted 53-47 on Thursday to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Jackson faced stiff opposition from Republicans who hammered her past lenience on child sex offenders and controversial stance on gender issues, but ultimately clinched the nomination thanks to three Republicans who crossed party lines and voted with Democrats.
Republican Senators Mitt Romney (Utah), Susan Collins (Maine), and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) gave Jackson their votes, while the Senate’s 50 Democrats were unanimous in supporting her nomination. With the Senate split 50-50, and Vice President Kamala Harris providing a tie-breaking vote, Jackson would likely have been confirmed regardless of whether the three GOP lawmakers crossed the aisle.
Jackson was nominated by President Joe Biden in February, after he specifically promised on the campaign trail to appoint a black woman to the court.
While Jackson was praised by Democrats and liberal pundits, she faced withering criticism from conservative Republicans during a series of hearings. Jackson was pressed for doling out lenient sentences to pedophiles, and for accompanying these sentences with comments lamenting the “stigmatization and ostracism” suffered by child sex offenders.
Jackson was also ridiculed for refusing to provide a definition for the word “woman” when pressed by Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee). “No, I can’t,” she replied. “Not in this context. I’m not a biologist.”
Jackson’s appointment does not change the ideological balance of the Supreme Court, broadly speaking. She is set to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, a liberal, when he retires at the end of the court’s session this summer.
While Jackson's confirmation was hailed by Senate Democrats, with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) describing her as a "role model" for the nation's children, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) was more dour in his pronouncement.
“When it came to one of the most consequential decisions a president can make, a lifetime appointment to our highest court, the Biden administration let the radicals run the show,” McConnell said. “Today, the far left will get the Supreme Court justice they wanted.”