By Hamil R. Harris | Trice Edney Wire
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has won the support of Democrat and Republican Senators and is on her way to becoming the first African-American woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court.
“This is a historic moment for the committee and America,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin, (D-ll)chairman of the Judiciary Committee who expects Jackson’s confirmation by Friday, April 8, at the latest.
President Joseph Biden selected Jackson to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. After four days of tumultuous hearings and an 11-11 split between Judiciary Committee Democrats and Republicans, her nomination went to the full Senate.
While they did not dispute the importance of Judge Jackson’s nomination; nor her legal qualifications, committee Republicans criticized Jackson on a variety of fronts. Republicans on the Senate panel accused Jackson of leniency in child sex abuse cases and criticized her for her past representation of terrorism defendants as a public defender.
But this week, Republican Senators Mitt Romney (Utah), Lisa Murkowski (Ark.) and Susan Collins (Maine) announce their support for Jackson along with conservative democrat, Sen. Joe Mansion (D-W. Va.) who voted against the voting rights bill that was pushed by Democrats.
“After reviewing Judge Jackson’s record and testimony, I have concluded that she is a well-qualified jurist and a person of honor,” Romney said in a statement. “While I do not expect to agree with every decision she may make on the Court, I believe that she more than meets the standard of excellence and integrity.”
Murkoski said she planned to vote for Jackson because, “She will bring to the Supreme Court a range of experience from the courtroom that few can match given her background in litigation.”
Murkoski said in a statement that, “My support rests on Judge Jackson’s qualifications, which no one questions; her demonstrated judicial independence; her demeanor and temperament; and the important perspective she would bring to the court as a replacement for Justice Breyer.”
United States Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has not said how he will vote on the confirmation. Speaking at a Harvard Institute of Politics forum last week, Scott called Jackson a “likable person,” but he added, “My question isn’t whether she’s likable or not — it’s her judicial philosophy and how that matches what I think is in the best interest of our country long-term.”
Judge Jackson was born in Washington, D.C. but grew up in Miami, where her parents attended segregated primary schools, then attended historically Black colleges and universities. When Judge Jackson was in preschool, her father attended law school. In a 2017 lecture, she traced her love of the law back to sitting next to her father in their apartment as he tackled his law school homework.
Jackson became a debate team champion who became student body president of Miami’s Palmetto Senior High School. She was accepted to Harvard University and graduated magna cum laude. Then, she went to Harvard Law School, where she graduated cum laude and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Judge Jackson lives with her husband, Patrick, and their two daughters, in Washington, DC.During her opening statement, Jackson thanked Justice Breyer, and now she is poised to replace her mentor.
“Justice Breyer not only gave me the greatest job that any young lawyer could ever hope to have, but he also exemplifies what it means to be a Supreme Court justice of the highest level of skill and integrity, civility, and grace. It is extremely humbling to be considered for Justice Breyer’s seat, and I know that I could never fill his shoes. But if confirmed, I would hope to carry on his spirit.”