Ketanji Brown Jackson Speaks For 1st Time Since Historic Confirmation

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Ketanji Brown Jackson Speaks For 1st Time Since Historic Confirmation
She will become the 116th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court when she takes the bench after Justice Stephen Breyer retires in June.

In a jubilant White House ceremony Friday, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson acknowledged her place in history as the first Black woman ever confirmed to the nation's highest court.  

"It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, but we've made it," Jackson said.

Jackson, soon to be the nation's first Black female justice, told an enthusiastic crowd on the White House South Lawn that her successful confirmation is not just a victory for one person or party, but the entire country.  

"This is a moment in which all Americans can take great pride. We have come a long way toward perfecting the union. In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States," Jackson continued.

Diversity in federal courts has been a top priority for President Joe Biden. Jackson's bipartisan confirmation on Thursday represents the biggest milestone yet in his efforts to diversify the judicial branch. 

But getting his first Supreme Court nominee confirmed proved to be a bruising battle.  

"There was verbal abuse. The anger, the constant interruptions, the most vile and baseless assertions and accusations," President Biden said.

Jackson's Republican opponents used the hearings to paint her as a liberal extremist, lenient on criminal offenders. 

On Thursday, all 50 Senate Democrats and three Republicans rejected those attacks, delivering a rare bipartisan victory for President Biden.

 Ketanji Brown Jackson will become the 116 Associate Justice of the Supreme Court when she takes the bench sometime after Justice Stephen Breyer retires at the end of the high court's current term in June. 

At age 51, Judge Jackson is expected to vote along with members of the court's current liberal minority for decades to come. Her presence on the court is not expected to change the court's current 6 Conservative to 3 Liberal ideological split.