Politics: Senate confirms Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court in historic vote

GOP Sen. Susan Collins says she'll vote to confirm Biden's Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson

  GOP Sen. Susan Collins says she'll vote to confirm Biden's Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson Collins is the first Republican to support Jackson, ensuring Biden's Supreme Court nominee will get a bipartisan confirmation vote."I have decided to support the confirmation of Judge Jackson to be a member of the Supreme Court," Collins told The New York Times after meeting with Jackson a second time on Tuesday. Collins' move ensures that Jackson will get bipartisan support to serve on the Supreme Court.

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, paving the way for her to become the first Black woman in history to sit on the nation's highest court.

Just before the 53-47 bipartisan vote, during the rare occasion when senators announce their votes standing at their desks, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called it "an even greater moment for America as we rise to a more perfect union."

The White House said President Joe Biden mark Jackson's Senate confirmation with a South Lawn ceremony Friday. Vice President Kamala Harris, presided over the Senate and announced the vote.

McConnell pressing GOP senators to oppose Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court nomination: report

  McConnell pressing GOP senators to oppose Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court nomination: report McConnell during a recent GOP lunch argued that a "no" vote would not be based on "race or gender" but on Jackson's record, according to The Hill.Despite the groundbreaking nomination of Jackson — who would become the first Black woman in US history to sit on the high court if she is successfully confirmed — the Kentucky Republican argued that a "no" vote would not be based on "race or gender" but on the judge's record, per the publication.

Spectators packing the Senate gallery erupted in applause and many of the senators rose in an extended standing ovation.

Senators and guests applaud following the vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court on the Senate floor, April 7, 2022, in Washington, D.C. © Pool via Senate TV Senators and guests applaud following the vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court on the Senate floor, April 7, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

Jackson watched the Senate vote at the White House with Biden and her family, a pool report said.

President Joe Biden and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson watch the Senate vote on her nomination to associate justice on the US Supreme Court, from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, on April 7, 2022. © Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images President Joe Biden and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson watch the Senate vote on her nomination to associate justice on the US Supreme Court, from the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, on April 7, 2022.

With the Senate barreling toward a two-week Easter recess, the Senate had first voted to cut off debate on Jackson's confirmation, around ahead of the final roll call vote. It's been 42 days since Biden nominated Jackson.

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson faces tied committee vote, but still moves closer to her historic confirmation

  Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson faces tied committee vote, but still moves closer to her historic confirmation The committee voted along party lines for Jackson's nomination, highlighting the partisan nature of the Supreme Court confirmation process.The panel split 11-11 on Jackson's nomination, with all Democrats in support and all Republicans against. The move presents a deadlock, and forces Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to invoke special procedures to advance Jackson's nomination.

While Democrats have the votes to confirm Biden's nominee on their own, three Republicans -- Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney -- will break ranks from the GOP to join them, marking a solid, bipartisan win for the Biden White House in a hyper-partisan Washington. Former President Donald Trump's last nominee, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, received no votes from Democrats.

Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson arrives for the third day of her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, March 23, 2022, in Washington, D.C. © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson arrives for the third day of her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, March 23, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

Jackson is not expected to be fully sworn in for duty until summer, once retiring Justice Stephen Breyer steps down.

MORE: Ketanji Brown Jackson clears major hurdle in historic Supreme Court bid

With Jackson's ascension to the bench, for the first time, white men won't be the majority on the Supreme Court.

Murkowski, Romney back Jackson, all but assure confirmation

  Murkowski, Romney back Jackson, all but assure confirmation WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney say they will vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic elevation to the Supreme Court, giving President Joe Biden's nominee a burst of bipartisan support and all but assuring she'll become the first Black female justice. The senators from Alaska and Utah announced their decisions Monday night ahead of a procedural vote to advance the nomination and as Democrats pressed to confirm Jackson by the end of the week. GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine announced last week that she would back Jackson, noting her "stellar qualifications” as a federal judge, public defender and member of the U.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies on her nomination to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C, March 22, 2022. © Doug Mills/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies on her nomination to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C, March 22, 2022.

In marathon hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, Jackson was given the opportunity to tell the panel -- and the American people -- what it would mean to her to serve on the nation's highest court.

"I stand on the shoulders of so many who have come before me, including Judge Constance Baker Motley, who was the first African American woman to be appointed to the federal bench and with whom I share a birthday," Jackson said. "And, like Judge Motley, I have dedicated my career to ensuring that the words engraved on the front of the Supreme Court building -- 'Equal Justice Under Law' -- are a reality and not just an ideal."

Jackson endured nearly 24 hours of questioning from senators in the, at times, contentious and emotional, hearings.

"Not a single justice has been a Black woman. You, Judge Jackson, can be the first," said chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill. "It's not easy being the first. You have to be the best and in some ways the brightest. Your presence here today and your willingness to brave this process will give inspiration to millions of women who see themselves in you."

Jen Psaki questions Sen. Lindsey Graham's opposition to Ketanji Brown Jackson after he supported her last year: 'She has the exact same credentials'

  Jen Psaki questions Sen. Lindsey Graham's opposition to Ketanji Brown Jackson after he supported her last year: 'She has the exact same credentials' "I wouldn't say the president is spending a lot of time thinking about it," Psaki said when asked if Biden was "disappointed" with Graham's decision."What exactly has changed since he voted to support her just recently — relatively recently?" Psaki said of Graham when asked during her press briefing about his opposition. "She has the exact same credentials, exact same qualifications.

MORE: Who is Biden's Supreme Court pick Ketanji Brown Jackson? And the inside story behind her name

Meanwhile, several Republicans assailed Jackson with accusations that she's a liberal activist and "soft on crime"-- taking issue with nine child pornography sentences she handed down, criticizing her legal work for Guantanamo Bay detainees, and questioning support she received from progressive groups.

Framed by Republican Senators Thom Tillis and John Kennedy,Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham questions Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill,March 23, 2022 in Washington. © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Framed by Republican Senators Thom Tillis and John Kennedy,Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham questions Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill,March 23, 2022 in Washington.

"In your nomination, did you notice that people from the left were pretty much cheering you on?" asked Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

"A lot of people were cheering me on, senator," she replied.

MORE: Ketanji Brown Jackson clears major hurdle in historic Supreme Court bid

Notably, Graham voted to confirm Jackson to a lifetime judicial appointment last year but said he'll vote no this time -- and warned that if Republicans had control of the Senate, Jackson wouldn't have received hearings to begin with.

Others in the GOP pressed Jackson to explain critical race theory, say whether babies are racist, and to define "woman" -- questions Democrats repeatedly criticized as they took to defending her record and applauding her character.

Ketanji Brown Jackson's historic Supreme Court confirmation receives a standing ovation, cheers and praise: 'This is a watershed moment'

  Ketanji Brown Jackson's historic Supreme Court confirmation receives a standing ovation, cheers and praise: 'This is a watershed moment' Sen. Cory Booker said he felt "immense pride and so much joy" after Thursday's bipartisan vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. "This is a watershed moment," Rep. Joyce Beatty of Ohio said. Jackson was confirmed in a bipartisan vote, with three Republicans supporting her. The Senate chamber erupted with applause and cheers after Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated for the Supreme Court, was confirmed in a bipartisan vote on Thursday.

"You did not get there because of some left wing agenda," Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., told her in a dramatic soliloquy, moving Jackson to tears. "You didn't get here because of some dark money groups. You got here how every Black woman in America who has gotten anywhere has done. You are worthy. You are a great American."

While listening to Sen. Cory Booker speak, Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's eyes fill with tears during her confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, on March 23, 2022, in Washington, D.C. © Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images While listening to Sen. Cory Booker speak, Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's eyes fill with tears during her confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, on March 23, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Jackson's performance, at times, "evasive and unclear," scrutinizing her judicial philosophy, Jackson insisted "there is not a label" for her judiciary philosophy -- because she says she doesn't have one. She told the committee, "I am acutely aware that, as a judge in our system, I have limited power, and I am trying in every case to stay in my lane."

MORE: Why Republicans Romney, Murkowski, and Collins say they'll vote for Ketanji Brown Jackson

At age 51, Jackson currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to which she was named by Biden and confirmed by the Senate last year in a bipartisan vote. She has also been Senate-confirmed on two other occasions.

She will replace Justice Breyer, whom she once clerked for, when he retires at the end of the term. Jackson said last month, "It is extremely humbling to be considered for Justice Breyer's seat, and I know that I could never fill his shoes. But if confirmed, I would hope to carry on his spirit."

Jackson's speech highlights US race struggles, progress

  Jackson's speech highlights US race struggles, progress “In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.” With those words, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson acknowledged both the struggles and progress of Black Americans in her lifetime. Her words, delivered from the South Lawn of the White House on Friday, one day after her historic Senate confirmation, were a tribute to generations of Black Americans who she said paved the way for her elevation to the nation’s highest court.

When Biden formally announced Jackson's nomination at the White House, he fulfilled a promise made on the 2020 presidential campaign ahead of the South Carolina primary when he relied heavily on support from the state's Black voters.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, with President Joe Biden, speaks after she was nominated for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, in the Cross Hall of the White House, Feb. 25, 2022. © Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, with President Joe Biden, speaks after she was nominated for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, in the Cross Hall of the White House, Feb. 25, 2022.

"For too long our government, our courts haven't looked like America," he said on Feb. 25. "And I believe it is time that we have a court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation with a nominee of extraordinary qualifications."

MORE: Biden honors retiring Justice Breyer, commits to nominate Black woman to replace him on Supreme Court

Jackson's parents, Johnny and Ellery Brown, Miami natives who grew up under segregation in the South, were on hand at the historic hearings to support their daughter -- who they say was once told by a school guidance counselor to lower her sights.

Jackson, instead, soared.

Growing up, her mother was a public high school principal in Miami-Dade County, where Jackson attended public schools and was a "star student," while her father was a teacher and, later on, county school board attorney. Jackson has fondly recalled memories of drawing in her coloring books next to her father studying his law school textbooks. Her younger brother, her only sibling, served in the U.S. military and did tours in combat. Two of her uncles have been law enforcement officers.

After graduating from Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Jackson went on to attend Harvard College and Harvard Law School. There she met her husband, Patrick, a general surgeon, at Harvard, and the couple share two daughters, Talia, 21, and Leila, 17.

MORE: Judge Jackson takes empathetic approach to impartiality: ANALYSIS

Asked what her message to young Americans would be, Jackson recalled to the Senate Judiciary Committee that when she was feeling out of place at Harvard in her first semester -- a stranger provided a remarkable lesson in resilience.

A note reading © Michael Mccoy/Reuters A note reading "YOU GOT THIS!" sits on the seat of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's daughter Leila during the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 22, 2022.

"I was really questioning: Do I belong here? Can I, can I make it in this environment?" she said. "And I was walking through the yard in the evening and a Black woman I did not know was passing me on the sidewalk, and she looked at me, and I guess she knew how I was feeling. And she leaned over as we crossed and said 'persevere.'"

"I would tell them to persevere," Jackson said.

ABC News' Devin Dwyer contributed to this report.

Poll: Most Americans see politics over substance in Supreme Court confirmation process .
About a third of Americans say the current process of confirming nominees leads to better justices getting on to the Supreme Court, a new poll shows.With Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's historic confirmation in the books, a new poll suggests a majority of Americans are uncertain whether it's worth all the fuss.

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