WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ketanji Brown Jackson will become the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
With Vice President Kamala Harris presiding over the Senate, senators voted 53-47 to confirm Jackson's nomination on Thursday. Jackson watched the vote come in with President Joe Biden at the White House.
Every Democrat and three Republicans supported Jackson's nomination. The three Republican senators included Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah.
President Biden's nominated Jackson to replace Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires this summer, after the end of the court’s current term.
Jackson faced a contentious confirmation process. During days of questioning, Republicans tried to paint her as soft on crime. They accused her of issuing lenient sentences in child exploitation cases when she was the judge in the case.
Jackson remained calm throughout the process and explained the legal rationale for her sentencing decisions.
Romney rejected his party's characterization of Jackson. He said her judicial approach is “within the mainstream.”
The balance of the court is not changed with Jackson's appointment. She will become one of three justices nominated by a Democratic president. The six other justices were nominated by Republican presidents.
At 51 years old, Jackson is poised to remain on the bench for decades.