President Joe Biden is slated to speak Friday afternoon at a White House event about the U.S. Senate’s vote to make Ketanji Brown Jackson the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, with the justice in waiting and Vice President Kamala Harris also due to deliver remarks.
The speeches about the “historic, bipartisan confirmation of Judge Jackson” are scheduled to come around 12:15 p.m. Eastern, the White House said.
The nomination of Jackson, Biden’s pick to replace the retiring Stephen Breyer, passed the evenly split Senate on Thursday afternoon in a 53-47 vote. Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah joined with the chamber’s 50 Democrats and independents, giving the nomination modest bipartisan support.
Jackson, 51, won’t serve on the Supreme Court until later this year, as Breyer, 83, has said he’s aiming to retire at the end of the court’s term, in late June or early July.
Jackson’s ascent to the high court will mean that for the first time it won’t have white men as the majority of its justices. But she will not alter its ideological makeup, as she replaces Breyer, a member of its liberal wing. The court currently has a 6-3 conservative majority.
During her confirmation hearing, Republican senators like Tom Cotton of Arkansas criticized Jackson by asserting she has given lenient sentences in child-pornography cases — a charge she pushed back on. GOP senators also pressed her on cultural issues including critical race theory and teaching children about gender identity.
Democrats such as Cory Booker of New Jersey defended Jackson and her temperament. Booker, one of three Black senators, told her she handled the hearing with “grit and grace” and called her a “great American.”
The main U.S. stock gauges
on Friday traded mostly lower and were on track for weekly losses, as investors continued to digest the Federal Reserve’s plans for fighting inflation.
The Associated Press and MarketWatch’s Robert Schroeder contributed to this report.