“Even in the darkest times, there are bright lights,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said on the Senate floor. “Today is one of the brightest lights. Let us hope it’s a metaphor, an indication of many bright lights to come.”

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, making her the first Black woman to be elevated to the pinnacle of the judicial branch in what her supporters hailed as a needed step toward bringing new diversity and life experience to the court, The New York Times reports.

Overcoming a concerted effort by conservative Republicans to derail her nomination, Judge Jackson was confirmed on a 53-to-47 vote, with three Republicans joining all 50 members of the Democratic caucus in backing her. The vote was a rejection of Republican attempts to paint her as a liberal extremist who has coddled criminals. Dismissing those portrayals as distorted and offensive, Judge Jackson’s backers saw the confirmation as an uplifting occasion, one where a representative of a group often pushed into the background instead moved to the forefront.

The vote put her in line to replace Justice Stephen G. Breyer when he retires at the end of the court’s session this summer.

“Even in the darkest times, there are bright lights,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, said on the Senate floor. “Today is one of the brightest lights. Let us hope it’s a metaphor, an indication of many bright lights to come.”

He added, “How many millions of kids in generations past could have benefited from such a role model?” At the Capitol, the galleries to witness the historic vote, closed for much of the pandemic, were full of supporters. The chamber erupted in cheers, with senators, staff and visitors all jumping up for a lengthy standing ovation, after the vote was announced.

Not everyone shared in the joy of the day. As applause echoed from the marbled walls, Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, turned his back and slowly walked out, as did most of the few Republicans remaining on the floor, leaving half of the chamber empty as the other half celebrated in a stark reflection of the partisan divide.

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