“It’s a beautiful day, a joyful day, an inspiring day”, greeted Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. The U.S. Senate passed on Thursday April 7 the historic confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, of which she will be the first black magistrate. All elected members of the Democratic Party and three moderate Republican senators voted to bring this brilliant 51-year-old attorney to the US temple of the law.
Ketanji Brown Jackson replaces progressive magistrate Stephen Breyer, 83, who will retire at the end of June. Of the 115 justices who have served on the Supreme Court, only five were women (four white and one Hispanic) and two black men, one of whom, Clarence Thomas, was appointed by George Bush Sr. and is still sitting.
This magistrate was elected in late February by Democratic President Joe Biden, who during his campaign had pledged to appoint for the first time a black woman to the country’s highest judicial institution, aged 233.
As if to underline the historic nature of this nomination, Kamala Harris, the first black woman to become Vice President of the United States, chaired the voting session.
A balance of power that is unfavorable for progressives
The confirmation, which Judge Jackson along with Joe Biden saw live from the White House, was received with a standing ovation from the Democrats in the room. The US President has never stopped praising the “extraordinary skills” from this Harvard University graduate, who has experience in the private and public sectors and who was a lawyer and federal judge.
This is the Democratic leader’s first appointment to the Supreme Court. However, it won’t change the balance of power within the prestigious college of nine magistrates, whose mission is to ensure the constitutionality of laws and regulate important social debates in the United States, such as abortion or same-sex marriage.
Indeed, before Mr. Biden, Donald Trump had the chance to appoint three Supreme Court justices, entrenching the case in conservatism, possibly for several decades.