WASHINGTON (WPVI) -- The Senate confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court on Thursday, shattering a historic barrier by securing her place as the first Black female justice and giving President Joe Biden a bipartisan endorsement for his effort to diversify the court.
Jackson, a 51-year-old appeals court judge with nine years experience on the federal bench, was confirmed 53-47, mostly along party lines but with three Republican votes. Presiding was Vice President Kamala Harris, also the first Black woman to reach that high office.
Jackson will take her seat when Justice Stephen Breyer retires this summer, solidifying the liberal wing of the 6-3 conservative-dominated court. She joined Biden at the White House to watch the vote, embracing as it came in.
Law students in Philadelphia are reacting to the historic confirmation.
"To have someone who looks like me be represented in the Supreme Court Justice is life-changing," said Penn law student Chayla Sherrod.
"Just to see Ketanji Brown Jackson today be confirmed-- that serves as my why. That serves as a purpose, as my motivation to remind me that with hard work, grace and eloquence you can get really far in life," said Penn law student Simone Hunter-Hobson.
Sherrod is the editor-in-chief of the Penn Law Review, which is the oldest law journal in the country.
Hunter-Hubson is the editor-in-chief of Penn's Journal of Constitutional Law.
They both say having Jackson as a Supreme Court Justice is huge for representation.
"People can feel that they can trust the Supreme Court," said Hunter-Hobson.
"Knowing that the new wave of precedent will spark from a Black woman who has had such a colorful background and experience is exciting," said Sherrod.
But they can't stress enough the Supreme Court is getting an extremely qualified legal mind.
Jackson, a graduate of Harvard Law, will be the most experienced trial court judge to join the Supreme Court in almost a century.
She'll be the second sitting justice to serve at all three levels of the federal judiciary.
She's now going to be the first justice who has served as a public defender.
"I think she'll be able to fairly assess the law and the facts as the cases come to the Supreme Court," said Hunter-Hobson.
"I think she'll be very aware of how the law can be impactful for different groups of people while also protecting and preserving kind of the scared nature of the constitution," said Sherrod.
They also believe Jackson brings a mindset to court like we've never seen.
"Having that representation I think will invite new discussion to the Supreme Court and step away from just the conservative and liberal sides of it," said Sherrod.
WATCH | Cory Booker on the meaning behind Judge Jackson's historic confirmation
The Associated Press contributed to this report.