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Bay Area leaders and others lauded the U.S. Senate’s vote Thursday to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. senators voted 53-47 to approve Jackson, who will be the first Black woman to serve on the high court and will provide a greater gender balance on the court.
“Throughout the confirmation process, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson showed why President Biden nominated her,” U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said in a statement. “She displayed an exceptional legal mind, impeccable integrity and a commitment to impartiality — qualities that will make her an outstanding justice.”
Feinstein, the former ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and current chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, said she was most impressed by now-Justice Jackson’s understanding that the Supreme Court is not an academic institution but rather one that makes decisions that affect all Americans.
“This is a great day for our country,” Feinstein said. “Judge Jackson is the first Black woman confirmed to the Supreme Court and only the sixth woman justice in our nation’s history. She will join three other women justices, giving the court near-gender parity for the first time in 233 years.
“The Supreme Court should look like the country it serves, and with this confirmation, we move closer to that ideal,” Feinstein said.
“Judge Jackson demonstrated her brilliance and composure throughout her confirmation process and she is one of the most qualified judges to ever be confirmed to the Supreme Court,” Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, said in a statement.
“She served as a federal public defender; a federal appellate judge; a federal district court judge; a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission; and an attorney in private practice,” Eshoo said.
Former San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen, who is now chair of the California State Board of Equalization, said in a statement, “It is not easy to be the first to break barriers, but Judge Jackson has shattered a glass ceiling to serve this country at the highest court.
“As Black women, we stand on the shoulders of Black heroes who came before us and fought for the rights we have today. Judge Jackson is an inspiration to me and future generations, like my daughter, who will know that achieving greatness is within their reach.”
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, had this to say: “Today, the dream of our ancestors and the trailblazers that came before us was realized with the historic confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.”
Lee added, “A Black woman’s perspective has been missing from the Supreme Court since it was founded in 1789. It was a moving and powerful moment to witness Vice President Harris, the pride of the East Bay and the first Black woman Vice President, preside over the vote to confirm the first Black woman Supreme Court Justice.”
U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California, said, “As we mark this significant progress in our nation’s history, we celebrate the better America that we are building, where our courts better reflect and understand the country they serve.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on his Twitter feed: “Ketanji Brown Jackson has just made history. Our country will be a better place with her on the high court.”