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Loyola professor sees Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation as 'monumental moment'

Ketanji Brown Jackson is now the nation's first-ever Black woman to be named Supreme Court Justice.
Ketanji Brown Jackson
Posted at 7:14 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 20:55:32-04

BALTIMORE — Ketanji Brown Jackson is now the nation's first-ever Black woman to be named Supreme Court Justice.

Vice President Kamala Harris announced the votes - 53 yays and 47 nays.

"This nomination is confirmed," Vice President Harris declared Thursday.

MORE: Senate confirms Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court

In our nation’s history, 115 people have been confirmed to serve on the United State's Supreme Court. Of that, 108 have been white men, four have been women, two have been Black men, and now, Ketanji Brown Jackson is the first Black female to hold the title.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is the first and only judge with experience as a federal public defender, making her one of the most experienced to ever hold the title.

Dr. Kaye Whitehead, a professor of African-American studies at Loyola University, attended the confirmation hearing of Justice Brown Jackson.

"The highest court of the land, the court that's responsible for setting our culture for helping us to understand our laws, for setting the pace for who we're going to be, one of the most powerful branches in our government, one of the most powerful branches in our government, I would argue," Dr. Whitehead said. "Finally, there will be an African-American woman, a Black woman sitting on the bench helping to interpret the law."

Dr. Whitehead said this monumental moment is one that will inspire future generations to come.

"Outside of giving children all over the world this notion that you can go as high as you want to go, nothing can stop you," Dr. Whitehead said.

Justice Brown Jackson had 47 Republican Senators vote against her. However, there were three who voted in favor.

Dr. Whitehead believes this support shows the culture of racism in our nation is slowly changing.

"There's a tendency to think this is a monumental moment, just for Black people, or just for Black women," Dr. Whitehead said. "I think it's a monumental moment for our country that's rooted in racism in white supremacy and sexism, that there is a Black woman moving to the highest court in this land. America is changing."

Many like Dr. Whitehead believe this is the start to a world of change that will be felt for generations upon generations to come.

"Knowing what we went through, through reconstruction through Jim Crow, to the civil rights movement to understanding Black Lives Matter, it's a monumental moment for us because when one of us gets in that door, the ability to keep the door open, for more of us to follow, is the exciting part," Dr. Whitehead said.

Another monumental moment was Vice President Kamala Harris, who’s the first Black woman to hold that seat, was preceding over the voting ceremony.