Ketanji Brown Jackson to be sworn in to the Supreme Court when Breyer retires

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Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in as the Supreme Court’s first black justice at noon Thursday, minutes after her mentor, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, makes her retirement official.

Jackson, 51, was handpicked to the court by President Biden after Breyer earlier this year announced his plans to retire. She was confirmed on April 7, but has been waiting for Breyer to finish the final term of her four-decade judicial career.

Breyer’s work on the court will end with the publication of the remaining opinions of the term and possibly the announcement of some new cases accepted for the next term. Jackson will be sworn in at a private ceremony at the Supreme Court that will be broadcast live on The Washington Post. Homepage. Breyer and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will administer the oaths Jackson must take.

The Senate confirms Jackson as the first black woman on the Supreme Court

Breyer sent a letter to Biden on Wednesday that he said he planned to end his superior court service at noon.

“You have nominated and the United States Senate has confirmed the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson to succeed me in office, and I understand that you are prepared to take the prescribed oaths to begin your service as the 116th member of this court,” Breyer wrote. , who hired Jackson as an employee for the period 1999-2000.

Breyer added, “It has been a great honor for me to participate as a judge in the effort to uphold our Constitution and the rule of law.”

Jackson will become the first black woman to serve on the high court, and her promotion from the US Court of Appeals for the DC circuit will mean that the Supreme Court for the first time will have four female justices among its nine members. She will serve with judges Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett.

Jackson will be only the third African-American judge, after Thurgood Marshall, who died in 1993, and Clarence Tomas, who is the longest-serving judge on the court. With Breyer’s retirement, Thomas, 74, will also become the court’s oldest judge.

Four women on the Supreme Court would bring historic and close gender parity to the institution long dominated by white men.

New judges are normally sworn in and begin work as quickly as possible. Although the court will not hear oral arguments again until a new term begins in October, Jackson will be immediately eligible to hear the emergency petitions that have become an increasingly important part of the court’s work. She has already hired four clerks and will begin the process of deciding if she will grant additional cases for the court’s docket.

He has not heard any appeals court cases since Biden announced his nomination in February. She has kept a low profile, making limited appearances to speak about tutoring and to give a commencement address at the graduation of one of her daughters from Georgetown Day School in Washington.

she also gave an interview to The Postwhere he spoke about the meaning of his nomination and the responsibility he feels.

“A lot of people are looking and they see this as a door opening for others,” Jackson said in the May interview. “I know in the past I felt like, ‘God, I really have to do well here so other people have this opportunity in the future.’ That I can be the first, but I don’t want to be the last, and it’s on my shoulders to make sure I leave a good impression so others can follow.”

How Ketanji Brown Jackson Will Reframe the Supreme Court

He joins a court divided by sharp ideological differences and a liberal minority that responded to the court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade with an expansive and critical dissent.

“I’m an optimistic person by nature,” Jackson said in the interview. “I will approach this by bringing that and my experience as a judge, my experience as a person in the world and my interest in making it all work.”

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