Senate Republicans Storm Out As First African American Woman Is Confirmed As Next Associate Justice In Supreme Court
Senate Republicans stormed out after Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's historic Supreme Court confirmation.
Yesterday (7 April), Jackson became the first Black female justice appointed to the country's highest court.
Prior to the bipartisan vote, which voted in favour of Jackson by 53-47, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer described it as 'an even greater moment for America as we rise to a more perfect union'.
Watch the moment Jackson was confirmed and Republicans walked out below:
As Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the Senate and announced the results of the vote, cheers rocked the chamber as lawmakers stood to applaud Jackson, giving her a long standing ovation.
Jackson watched the vote at the White House with US President Joe Biden and her family. She'll be fully sworn in later this summer when Justice Stephen Breyer retires.
However, while the news was mostly met with cheers, a number of Republicans stood up and walked out of the chamber – including Ted Cruz, who earlier said Jackson 'will prove to be the furthest left of any justice to have ever served on the Supreme Court'. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney stayed behind to clap alongside Democrats.
Romney, who ranked among the most prominent GOP critics of Donald Trump towards the end of his term, was one of three Republicans – the others being Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski – who voted to confirm Jackson.
Footage of their walkout was shared across social media, attracting criticism from political action committee The Lincoln Project. "47 Republican Senators voted no on KBJ's nomination because they're afraid of the court representing what America actually looks like," it wrote.
Another user commented: "Interesting how people who dedicate their lives to American politics have zero respect for it. I guess the saying is true. Those who seek power are often times the least deserving of it."
A third wrote: "I’m not political at all but it’s childish to walk out when something doesn’t go your way. It’s like losing in a sport and refusing to shake hands."
In a speech prior to the vote, Senator Dick Durbin praised the three GOP members for their 'political courage'.
He said: "Thankfully, there are members of the Senate who are willing to rise above the partisan fray.
"I want to particularly commend Senator Susan Collins of Maine, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Senator Mitt Romney of Utah for their political courage and their willingness to support a singularly qualified and historic nominee to the Supreme Court."
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