Apr 8, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Ketanji Brown Jackson on historic Supreme Court confirmation: "We've made it"

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who will become the first Black woman Supreme Court justice, celebrated her confirmation on Friday at a White House event alongside President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Why it matters: "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. We made it, all of us," Jackson said on the South Lawn of the White House, receiving a standing ovation from the audience.

  • "Our children are telling me that they see now more than ever that here in America anything is possible."

The big picture: Since her nomination was announced, Jackson has acknowledged the historic nature of her confirmation.

  • During her opening statement for her confirmation hearings, she said, "I stand on the shoulders of so many who have come before me, including Judge Constance Baker Motley, who was the first African American woman to be appointed to the federal bench and with whom I share a birthday."

What she's saying: "To be sure, I have worked hard to get to this point in my career, and I have now achieved something far beyond anything my grandparents could have possibly ever imagined," Jackson said.

  • "But no one does this on their own. The path was cleared for me so that I might rise to this occasion, and in the poetic words of Dr. Maya Angelou, 'I do so now while bringing the gifts my ancestors gave. I am the dream and the hope of the slave.'"
  • "So I take on this new role, and I strongly believe that this is a moment in which all Americans can take great pride. We have come a long way toward perfecting our union. In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States," Jackson added.

Go deeper: "History made": Black women celebrate Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation

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