Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in before the Supreme Court on Thursday, becoming the first black woman to break a glass ceiling on the nation’s highest court.
Jackson, 51, is the court’s 116th judge, taking the place of the judge she once worked for. Judge Stephen Breyer’s resignation took effect at noon.
Moments later, Jackson, along with her family, recited the two oaths required of Supreme Court justices, one by Breyer and the other by Chief Justice John Roberts.
“It is with a full heart that I accept the solemn responsibility to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and to administer justice without fear or favor, so help me God,” Jackson said in a court statement. “I am truly grateful to be part of the promise of our great nation. I would like to thank all my new colleagues for their warm and friendly welcome.”
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Roberts welcomed Jackson “to the court and in our appeal together.” The ceremony was streamed live on the court’s website.
Jackson, a federal judge since 2013, joins three other women, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett — the first time four women have served together on the nine-member court.
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Biden nominated Jackson in February, a month after Breyer, 83, announced he would retire at the end of the court’s term, provided his successor was confirmed. Breyer’s earlier-than-usual announcement, and the stipulation he attached to it, was an acknowledgment of Democrats’ weak hold over the Senate in an era of bipartisanship, particularly around federal judges.
The Senate confirmed Jackson’s nomination in early April by a majority of 53 to 47 supported by three Republicans.
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Jackson has since been in a state of judicial limbo, remaining a judge on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, DC but not hearing cases. Biden appointed her to this court from the district judgeship to which President Barack Obama appointed her.
Jackson will be able to start work immediately, but the court will have done most of its work by the fall, barring emergency calls, which occasionally occur. That will give her time to settle in and become familiar with the roughly two dozen cases the court has already agreed to try beginning in October, as well as hundreds of appeals that will pile up over the summer.
The court ruled early Thursday after a momentous and acrimonious term in which Roe v. Wade’s guarantee of abortion rights has been lifted, final comments are pending. One of Thursday’s decisions restricted how the Environmental Protection Agency can use the country’s top air pollution law to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, a blow to the fight against climate change.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8959243/ketanji-brown-jackson-supreme-court/ Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes the first black woman to serve on the US Supreme Court after being sworn in – National