'A wonderful day': Ketanji Brown Jackson historic Supreme Court confirmation celebrated at White House

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  • Jackson makes history as the first Black woman and first federal public defender to sit on the court.
  • Jackson will replace Associate Justice Stephen Breyer after he retires at the end of the term.
  • The White House ceremony comes amid a wave of positive COVID-19 cases among top Biden officials.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden marked the Senate’s historic confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson in a ceremony at the White House Friday, giving the White House and Democratic allies an opportunity to celebrate the first Black woman headed to the Supreme Court.

Jackson, delivering an emotional speech, began her remarks by thanking God, the president and vice president, and members of the Senate for this moment.

“It is the greatest honor of my life to be here with you at this moment,” Jackson said.

Before she addressed the crowd, the president hailed the historic nature and value of her confirmation.

“This is not only a sunny day, I mean this from the bottom my heart. This is going to let so much sun shine on so many young women, so many young Black women,” Biden said. “We’re gonna look back not to do with me, we’re gonna look back and see this as a moment of real change in American history.”

Vice President Kamala Harris kicked off the ceremony, noting Jackson will join a court that “will answer fundamental questions about who we are and what kind of country we live in.”

Vice President Kamala Harris, accompanied by President Joe Biden and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, April 8, 2022, celebrating the confirmation of Jackson as the first Black woman to reach the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“You will inspire generations of leaders,” Harris said at the ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. “They will watch your confirmation hearings and read your decisions in the years to come.”

“Today is indeed a wonderful day.”

The Senate voted 53-47 Thursday to confirm Jackson, a U.S. appeals court judge for the D.C. district. Three Republicans – Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah – joined all 50 Democratic senators to confirm the 116th justice. She will replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. 


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