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WASHINGTON — In a speech to the Senate, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today spoke about the historic appointment of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Court supreme.

“Every Supreme Court appointment is critically important. This one has special historical significance. In the history of the United States, our Supreme Court had 115 justices, 108 of those justices had one thing in common: they were all white men. Five of those who sat on the court as judges were women. Only three were people of color out of 115,” Durbin said. “With Justice Jackson’s nomination, we have already seen history take shape. If confirmed, she will be the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. With this nomination, Justice Jackson and we have the opportunity to bend the arc of history toward justice.

During his speech, Durbin also highlighted how Judge Jackson will build on the honorable legacy of Judge Breyer and emphasized that the Judiciary Committee process will be careful, fair and professional.

“During his tenure on the Court, Justice Breyer was defined by his rigorous intellect, his thoughtful and pragmatic approach to judicial decision-making, his collegiality and consensus-building, and his dedication to the fundamental principles on which America is founded – liberty, liberty, and equality. By all of these measures and more, Judge Jackson is a natural successor to the justice for which she served as clerk,” Durbin said. “She is a jurist who understands the importance of pragmatism and real-world experience. She will draw on her extensive experience at the United States Sentencing Commission, as a federal public defender, as a litigator in civil suits and in private practice. Justice Jackson has also demonstrated the importance she places on collegiality and building consensus, especially with those who may not share her views.

Durbin continued, “In the coming weeks, the Senate Judiciary Committee will undertake another comprehensive review of his case, his qualifications and his approach to judicial decision-making. As chair of the committee, I am committed to ensuring that this review is thorough, fair and professional.

Durbin concluded, “My dearest hope is that ultimately she will receive bipartisan support for this nomination. It would be a great day for the Senate as well as the Supreme Court if that happens.”

Video of Durbin’s speech is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV channels.


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