Skip to main content

Senate votes to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court

Apr 07, 2022


The Senate has voted to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court in a 53-47 vote. When sworn in this summer, Jackson will be the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s high court.

All 50 Senate Democrats, including the two independents who caucus with them, voted for Jackson’s confirmation. They were joined by three Republicans: Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee reached an 11-11 tie along party lines on the question of whether to advance Jackson’s nomination to a vote before the full Senate. Democrats, expecting the deadlock, immediately moved ahead with a procedural step to discharge the nomination to a vote before the full Senate.

Jackson takes Breyer’s place on the liberal bloc of a court with an increasingly assertive 6-3 conservative majority. Breyer is due to serve until the court’s current term ends, usually in late June, and Jackson would be formally sworn in after that. Jackson served early in her career as a Supreme Court clerk for Breyer.

Before Jackson joins the bench, the Supreme Court is due to rule in major cases including one that could overturn the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide and another that could expand gun rights.

Jackson overcame widespread opposition among Republicans to win confirmation including criticism of her sentencing record as a trial judge and their attempt to determine if she is a liberal activist who bends rulings to fit her own beliefs.

Jackson said what she hopes to bring to the Supreme Court is similar to what the prior 115 justices have delivered: their own life experiences and perspectives. She said hers included time as a federal judge, a court-appointed lawyer for criminal defendants who could not afford an attorney, a member of a federal commission on criminal sentencing and “being a Black woman, lucky inheritor of the civil rights dream.”