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U.S. Senate Confirms First Black Woman To High Court

April 12, 2022

Three Republican Senators joined all 50 Democrats Thursday to confirm federal appeals judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cheers greeted Jackson as the 53-47 vote was announced, making her the first Black female justice on the Supreme Court’s bench.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) said Jackson’s “impressive public service will make her an outstanding Supreme Court justice” while U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D) also touted the judge’s “temperament, impartiality and fidelity to the law.”

“In a country as incredibly diverse as ours, I am so grateful that President (Joe) Biden understands that our government should be just as diverse as our country,” Stabenow said in a statement.

Peters noted: “I was deeply proud to vote for and help confirm Judge Jackson as our next Supreme Court Justice. This is a moment to recognize Judge Jackson as one of our nation’s brightest legal minds and a historic moment in our nation’s history that will ensure the Supreme Court further reflect the diversity of America.”

Jackson takes her seat on the court when Justice Stephen Breyerretires in the summer.

Conservative Republicans tried to derail her nomination and the vote rejected efforts to paint her as a liberal extremist.

Michigan lawmakers were quick to praise Jackson’s confirmation, including U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D), co-chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and second vice chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, who said, “Today is not a normal day in America; it is a historic one.”

“We’re sending a message to generations of young Black girls and women, some that we will never meet, that you belong in Congress, you belong in the White House, and now, you belong in the United States Supreme Court,” she said.

 U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D) called it an “important step toward shattering another glass ceiling and building a Supreme Court that looks more like our nation as a whole.”

Praise and/or congratulations also came from the Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes, Alliance Defending Freedom, UAW President Ray Curry and Progress Michigan.

John Johnson Jr., executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, called Jackson’s confirmation a “powerful beacon of hope.”

“As an attorney, I am also happy that Justice Jackson has directly experienced serving the legally disenfranchised,” he said. “Her time as a public defender and with the United States Sentencing Commission gives me confidence that she is prepared to make decisions that consider the interests of those whose rights are at risk.”

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