April 07, 2022

Durbin Statement on the Historic Confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, nominated to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, by a bipartisan vote of 53-47. Ahead of her confirmation vote, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke in support of Judge Jackson.  

Key Durbin quotes:

“Today, the members of this Senate have the opportunity to take a monumental step forward. We will vote to confirm a once-in-a-generation legal talent, a jurist with outstanding credentials and a lifetime of experience, and the first ever Black woman to serve as a Justice of the Supreme Court: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Judge Jackson’s confirmation will be a glass-shattering achievement for America.”

“When the Supreme Court first met in this Capitol building in February of 1801, there were a million slaves in this nation of five million people. This very building was built with the labor of enslaved people. And at the time, neither Black Americans nor white women had a Constitutionally guaranteed right to vote. Women had no place in that first Supreme Court room, and Black women would only enter to clean it in the dark of night.”

“And our struggle to enfranchise and empower women did not end with the 19th Amendment one hundred and two years ago. It continues to this day as well—as we strive to give our daughters the same opportunities we give our sons. This confirmation of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court honors the history that has come before it.”

“With Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the highest court in the land, we are not only making history—we are carrying on a great American tradition: Elevating one of our nation’s best and brightest legal minds to an honored position of service. There is no one more deserving of this high honor than Judge Jackson. As we have learned over the past month: she is the best of us.”

“She has devoted her life to serving our country—and she has done so at every level of the federal judiciary. And at every turn, she has distinguished herself.”

“As the American people saw during last month’s hearing in the Judiciary Committee: Judge Jackson has the right judicial temperament. She answered every question—even when the questions were the hostile and confrontational—-she answered them with dignity and grace…And perhaps most importantly, Justice Jackson will help ensure that the law works for the people—and that the people understand the workings of the Court. ”

“And this moment is possible because of Judge Jackson and who she is. Her qualifications, her dignity, her integrity, and her record of excellence.”

“In the years to come, long after we have left the Senate, one of our grandchildren may ask where we were on this historic day, April 7, 2022, when America broke down what seemed like an impossible racial barrier and voted to send the first African-American woman to serve on our highest court. I will be proud to say I was on this Senate floor, standing at my desk, and casting my vote for the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States: Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.”

 Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

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