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'Moment of real change': Biden welcomes Ketanji Brown Jackson to US Supreme Court
8 April 2022, 18:41
Joe Biden has hailed the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first black woman to sit on the US Supreme Court as a "moment of real change in American history".
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The US President officially introduced Judge Jackson as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court in a historic speech on Friday.
He was joined by Judge Jackson, who described it as the "greatest honour of her life", and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Judge Jackson was confirmed to the US Supreme Court on Thursday after three Republican senators voted in support of President Biden's nominee.
“This is not only a sunny day. This is going to let so much sun shine on so many young women, so many young black women, so many minorities,” Mr Biden said.
“We’re gonna look back and see this as a moment of real change in American history.”
“A brilliant legal mind with deep knowledge of the law … A humility that allows so many Americans to see themselves in Ketanji Brown Jackson.”
Today is a good day for America. A day that history will remember. Tune in as the Vice President, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and I deliver remarks on the Senate’s historic, bipartisan confirmation. https://t.co/sRxo0MpkcX— President Biden (@POTUS) April 8, 2022
“We all saw the kind of justice she’ll be — fair and impartial, thoughtful, careful, precise, brilliant,” the president continued.
The President described her confirmation process as filled with "verbal abuse" and "the most vile baseless accusations", but says in the face of it all Judge Jackson met the moment with poise, patience, restraint, perseverance, "and even joy".
In Judge Jackson's hearings, several Republican senators interrogated her on sentencing decisions in her nine years as a federal judge and in child pornography cases in particular.
The senators, several of whom are eyeing a run for president, asked the same questions repeatedly in an effort to paint her as too lenient on sex criminals.
She told the committee that "nothing could be further from the truth" and explained her sentencing decisions in detail. She said some of the cases had given her nightmares and were "among the worst that I have seen".
President Biden said Judge Jackson is the definition of "dignity".
He described her confirmation as a day of "promise and progress".
The vote is a significant bipartisan accomplishment for President Joe Biden in the narrow 50-50 Senate after GOP senators worked to paint Jackson as too liberal and soft on crime.
The 51-year-old federal appeals court judge will be just the third black justice, after Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and the sixth woman.
She will replace Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires this summer.
Judge Jackson said was is the "greatest honour of her life" to be the first black woman to sit on the US Supreme Court.
She thanked her family, friends and the American people for their support over the last few weeks, adding that she has dedicated her career to public service due to her love for her country.
"I am the dream and the hope of the slave," she said, quoting Maya Angelou while remarking on the historic nature of her confirmation to the Supreme Court.
"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’ve made it, all of us."
Judge Jackson will remain on the appeals court until she’s sworn in at the Supreme Court this June or July.