History Made on the Supreme Court

232 years after the court’s founding, the first black woman takes her place as a justice this summer.


Image provided through the Creative Commons License via Google.

Gigi Hanner, Sandscript Author

On February 25th, history was made when President Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court as a replacement for Stephen Breyer. Then, on April 7th, Jackson was confirmed in a 53-47 decision. She will become the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court sometime this summer, once Breyer’s retirement begins. 

Jackson’s confirmation hearing in the Senate lasted from March 21st through the 24th. She was asked many questions about her record as a public defender, social issues, and other issues of contention. 

Her past legal experience will make her a unique justice on the court since she will be the first justice to have any experience as a public defender. This will give her a new perspective on what the average American citizen most wants and needs, allowing her legal decisions to be influenced by the general public, something not commonly seen in the court. Additionally, she is the only justice that attended a public high school, giving her another window into typical American life.

Overall, Jackson has a foot in the door with the average citizen that the other justices do not have. Her qualifications gave her support from Democrats across the country, and she even received a letter of endorsement signed by 83 former state attorneys general. 

Despite her support and qualifications, her confirmation was by no means a bipartisan one. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a vote on April 4th to see whether Jackson’s nomination should advance to the senate which resulted in an 11-11 decision. After the tie vote, the Senate voted to discharge Jackson’s confirmation from the committee and have it be moved officially to the senate. Only three senate republicans ended up voting in her favor: Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Mitt Romney (Utah). 

Now that she is officially confirmed, the Supreme Court will see its first black associate judge in its ranks. Her journey to the highest court in the country is a historic one, and she will certainly bring a new viewpoint to the existing group of judges.