Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be the first Black woman in U.S. history to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
She was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday. The vote was 53-47: All Democrats supported Jackson’s historic nomination, as did Republican members Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney.
“America today is taking a giant step toward making our union more perfect,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Thursday, shortly before the vote. “Judge Jackson will go down in history as an American giant upon whose shoulders others will stand tall. And our democracy will be better off for it.”
Jackson’s confirmation comes after a series of nasty attacks on her judicial record and culture war-baiting questions about whether she thinks “babies are racist” and demands that she provide the definition of a woman.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday morning that Jackson’s “long and disturbing record of using judicial activism to go soft on crime” should keep her off the Supreme Court.
Other Republicans went much further, smearing her as soft on pedophilia. That attack seems specifically aimed at ginning up QAnon hostility toward her, feeding into the narrative that liberals are pedophiles.
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley led the charge on those attacks both during her confirmation hearings and in their aftermath:
“Judge Jackson has a pattern of letting child porn offenders off the hook for their appalling crimes, both as a judge and as a policymaker,” he tweeted in mid-March. “She’s been advocating for it since law school. This goes beyond ‘soft on crime.’ I’m concerned that this a record that endangers our children.”
Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene went even further, blasting the three Republicans who backed her nomination as “pro-pedophile” and claiming the Democratic Party is the “party of pedophilia.”
Jackson’s confirmation won’t change the ideological balance of the Supreme Court, which will maintain a 6-3 conservative majority. Jackson will replace fellow liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced in February that he would retire this summer.