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The operative word about Ketanji Brown Jackson is “first.” Once she is sworn in to the US Supreme Court, after being confirmed by the Senate Thursday 53-47 (three Republicans joined Democrats in supporting her), she will be the first Black woman on the high court in its 233 years. And she will be the first former public defender to join the court. Brown Jackson—the daughter of a lawyer and a school principal and currently a federal appellate judge in Washington, D.C.—won Senate confirmation after a bruising hearing last week where Republican senators tried to label her as an extreme liberal judge who has been soft on crime in certain rulings. For many, the elevation of Brown Jackson, who will replace Stephen Breyer (Hon.’95), the justice she once clerked for, is more than historic—it is long overdue, finally giving a voice to Black women everywhere on the highest court in the land.

BU Today collected a roundup of reactions from across the campus community.

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