The Senate on Thursday voted 53-47 to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, replacing retiring Justice Stephen Breyer when the current court term ends.

Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) joined all 48 Democrats and two Independents in voting for Jackson’s confirmation. All 47 other Republicans voted no.

Breyer on January 27 announced he would retire, pending the confirmation of his successor. Justice Breyer has served on the Supreme Court since 1994.

President Biden interviewed three candidates for the position: California Supreme Court Judge Leondra Kruger, U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina Michelle Childs, and Jackson. President Biden ultimately nominated Jackson on February 25.

Jackson, 51, joined the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2021. Prior to her elevation to an appellate court, she served as a district judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia from 2013 to 2021. Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Miami, Florida, Jackson attended Harvard University for her undergraduate, law degree, and A.B., where she served as an editor on the Harvard Law Review. She clerked for Justice Breyer after graduating law school as well as for Judge Bruce M. Selya of the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the First Circuit and Judge Patty B. Saris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Prior to joining the federal bench, Jackson served as an assistant federal public defender in Washington, assistant special counsel at the United States Sentencing Commission, before joining Morrison & Foerster as an appellate litigator in 2007.

The Senate then confirmed Jackson in 2010 to be vice chair of the Sentencing Commission. She served also as Commissioner of the Sentencing Commission from 2014 to 2021, according to her D.C. Circuit Court biography.

She is currently a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on Defender Services, as well as the Board of Overseers of Harvard University and the Council of the American Law Institute. She also currently serves on the board of Georgetown Day School and the United States Supreme Court Fellows Commission.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett were appointed by Republican presidents, while Justices Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor were appointed by Democrat presidents.

 

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