GOP Senators Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine) and Mitt Romney (Utah) joined all 50 Democratic senators in confirming Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. The 53-47 tally gave the voting outcome a semblance of bipartisanship to what has been a traditionally polarized process in the past decades,
The confirmation of Judge Jackson is historical as it will see the transformation of the Supreme Court for having the first Black woman to bring diversity and new life experience in serving the highest court of the land.
The senate chamber erupted in cheers and applause after Vice President Kamala Harris announced the vote. Senators, their staff and visitors in support of Judge Jackson gave a lengthy standing ovation after surviving the concerted efforts of majority of the Republican senators to derail her nomination.
During the confirmation hearing, Republican senators attempted to depict Judge Jackson as a liberal extremist who sided and cosseted criminals. Nevertheless, the senators who backed Judge Jackson regard the historical confirmation an uplifting occasion for a group of people who has often been ignored or pushed into the background.
As of the moment, Judge Jackson’s status is “judge-in-waiting,” as she will officially assume position as one of the 9 Supreme Court justices, after Judge Stephen G. Breyer retires at the end of the summer court session.
Republicans View Judge Jackson’s Confirmation as Court Packing
Even if the three GOP senators did not vote in favor of Judge Jackson’s confirmation, the votes of all 50 Democratic Senators plus the tie-breaking vote of VP Kamala Harris would have sufficed to ensure the confirmation of Judge Jackson.
The Republicans have been accusing the Biden administration of court packing; but as it is, Congress has to put in place a new Judge as replacement for Judge Breyer who announced his retirement early this year. Breyer’s retirement presented an opportunity for Pres. Biden to make an unprecedented move of nominating a Black woman to fill in the position that Judge Breyer will leave open after the summer session.
As the applause and cheers echoed in the chamber, Republican Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) slowly walked out, followed by other Republicans remaining on the floor. According to Senator McConnell President Biden has allowed radicals run the show, after making a nomination that the Kentucky senator describes as putting in place an extremist who will control the Democratic Party.