Historic Nomination In US Senate : Imagine This Democracy Had No Black Woman Judge in its Supreme Court Till Date
Jackson could be first black woman in Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.
The US Senate is expected to take up the historic nomination on Monday of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the first black woman to sit on the Supreme Court. This Democracy till date has had no black woman as a judge. Just imagine.
The Senate Judiciary Committee was to hold four days of confirmation hearings beginning on Monday for President Joe Biden’s choice for the highest US court.
Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominees have become an acrimonious partisan battleground over the past few years between Republicans and Democrats.
“Every court appointment is significant because so many vital matters are decided there,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
Jackson has been nominated to replace another liberal justice, 83-year-old Stephen Breyer, who is retiring, and her confirmation will not ultimately change the composition of the court, Sabato noted.
“The conservatives still have a 6-3 majority,” he said in a statement.
“That alone lowers the stakes and should make for a smoother confirmation.”
Democrats have the votes – if barely – to confirm Jackson, a 51-year-old Harvard-educated jurist who once served as a federal public defender for indigent clients, if they stick together.
The 100-member Senate is evenly split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans and Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tie-breaking vote.
“Inevitably,” Sabato said, “a few Republican senators will go after Jackson on a wide variety of topics.”
“Not because they think they can derail her – they can’t – but because they’ll be playing to the Republican base,” he said.
At the end of the day though, “why upset the apple cart in a fight they can’t win with a black woman jurist who is unquestionably well qualified?” Sabato said.
What’s more, several moderate Republican senators voted just a year ago to confirm Jackson to the US Circuit Court of Appeals.
Several Republican lawmakers have criticized Biden for following through on his election-year pledge to select an African-American woman for the court.
“Black women are, what, 6 percent of the US population?” said Texas Senator Ted Cruz. “He’s saying to 94 percent of Americans, ‘I don’t give a dxxn about you.'”
Jackson has impeccable credentials, however, and another Republican senator, Susan Collins of Maine, warned her colleagues to tread carefully.
“Given that Democrats, regrettably, have had some success in trying to paint Republicans as anti-black, it may make it more difficult to reject a black jurist,” Collins said.