Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed to Supreme Court; Arizona’s Sinema, Kelly vote yes

Apr 7, 2022, 11:17 AM | Updated: 11:35 am
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)...
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

PHOENIX — The Senate on Thursday confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, making her the first Black woman on the Supreme Court.

Arizona’s two U.S. senators, Democrats Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, voted Jackson to the high court.

Sinema, the state’s senior senator, said Jackson had “exceptional qualifications.”

“After meeting with Judge Jackson, reviewing her record and listening to her testimony, I’m proud to support her nomination to be our next Supreme Court Justice,” Sinema said in a statement.

“Judge Jackson brings to the bench a wealth of knowledge, more trial court experience than all other current Supreme Court Justices combined, a commitment to respect precedent and a proven independent, pragmatic approach to judicial decisions.”

Kelly said he also recently met with Jackson, a 51-year-old federal appeals court judge, in Washington, D.C.

He said Jackson will give all Americans “a fair shot at justice.”

“After speaking with Judge Jackson and reviewing her record and approach to deciding cases, I believe her to be very well qualified and having demonstrated a commitment to fairly interpret and uphold the Constitution on our nation’s highest court,” Kelly said.

“I look forward to voting to confirm Judge Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court.”

Jackson will be the third Black justice, after Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and the sixth woman.

She joins two other women, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, on the liberal side of a 6-3 conservative court. With Amy Coney Barrett sitting at the other end of the bench, four of the nine justices are women for the first time in history.

Once sworn in, Jackson would be the second youngest member of the court after Barrett, 50. She joins a court on which no one is yet 75, the first time that has happened in nearly 30 years.

A 53-47 vote to cut off debate Thursday morning came hours before Jackson’s confirmation.

Vice President Kamala Harris was present to preside, though her tie-breaking vote wasn’t necessary.

Three Republican senators supported Jackson, who will replace Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires this summer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed to Supreme Court; Arizona’s Sinema, Kelly vote yes