After a Senate process that President Biden described as beyond painful, a White House celebration Friday marked the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, focusing on the historic breakthrough her appointment represents. "It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States," Jackson told the gathering, CNN reports. "But we've made it. We've made it. All of us."
Biden also noted the historic moment, as well as what it will mean in the future. "This is going to let so much sun shine on so many young women, so many young Black women, so many minorities," the president said at the event on the South Lawn, per the New York Times. But he also discussed the treatment of Jackson by Republican senators during her confirmation hearings, which he described as worse than he'd expected. "It was verbal abuse—the anger, the constant interruptions, the most vile and baseless assertions and accusations," Biden said, per the Hill. "In the face of it all, Judge Jackson showed the incredible character and integrity she possesses." He praised her poise, perseverance, "and even joy" throughout.
In fact, Jackson thanked the senators for participating in the process in her remarks. The White House said the three GOP senators who voted to confirm Jackson were invited to the event Friday, though they didn't attend. Jackson's family and Supreme Court justices past and present also were invited. She'll join the court once Justice Stephen Breyer retires this summer. "I do so now while bringing the gifts my ancestors gave," Jackson said Friday, quoting Maya Angelou. "I am the dream and the hope of the slave." (Read more Ketanji Brown Jackson stories.)