A milestone was reached today when Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first Black woman in U.S. history to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. This is an objectively big deal, and the joy that greeted the official announcement was evident.
The good news, though, ends right about there. Jackson will soon join Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan in issuing dissents while the court’s 6-3 hard-right majority runs riot. Her practical role on the court will be to keep the barely-flickering liberal flame alive in the hopes that, eventually, the numbers edge back in her favor. But she is likely to be waiting a long long while, because the future of the Supreme Court rests in the hands of one of the stupidest, most venal institutions in the world: the United States Senate.