Senate confirms Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to powerful appeals court

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Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Ketanji Brown Jackson. Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 53-44 on Monday to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the federal appeals court in Washington.

The 50-year-old judge is filling the vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit left when Merrick Garland became attorney general earlier this year. Three Republicans — Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) — joined the Democrats to vote for Jackson.

Jackson was nominated to the position in March. A Harvard graduate, she served as a law clerk to Justice Stephen Breyer, and is considered to be a frontrunner should President Biden have the chance to select a Supreme Court justice, The Washington Post reports.

Women — primarily women of color — are underrepresented on the federal bench, and before Monday's vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Jackson, a Black woman, is "an outstanding, trailblazing nominee" with "all the qualities of a model jurist."

Democrats, Schumer said, are "working quickly to close the gap" and get more women federal judges confirmed. In four years, former President Donald Trump was able to install more than 200 judges, including three justices to the Supreme Court.

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