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Senate confirms Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as next Supreme Court justice

Biden nominee becomes first black female to serve as Supreme Court justice

Published: April 7, 2022 7:55am

Updated: April 7, 2022 2:40pm

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the next Supreme Court justice.

The evenly-split, 100-member chamber voted 53-47, with three Republicans voting "yes" with all 50 Democrats. 

Jackson is now the first black female to be appointed to the high court and is President Biden's first high court nominee.

Her appointment, beyond its historic significance, is a big midterm win for Biden and fellow Democrats, considering Jackson was confirmed with bipartisan support. 

Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the vote and was not force to cast a tiebreaker in Jackson's favor – after GOP Sens. Susan Collins, of Maine; Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska; and Mitt Romney, of Utah, each cast a vote for Jackson.

Jackson, a federal judge, will replace Justice Steven Breyer, who is retiring this summer. Her replacing Breyer will not change the court's 6-3, conservative-leaning makeup. 

The Senate late Thursday morning took a preliminary vote that ended debate on the nomination process – setting up the final, later-afternoon vote.

A 53-47 vote cut off debate on the process.

The GOP senators cast the "yes" votes amid their conference's arguments that Jackson is too liberal and soft on crime.

"This is a great moment for Judge Jackson, but it is an even greater moment for America as we ride to a more perfect union," Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer said before the vote.

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