Jackson Sworn In, Becomes First Black Woman On Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — Ketanji Brown Jackson has been sworn in to the Supreme Court, shattering a glass ceiling as the first Black woman on the nation’s highest court.

The 51-year-old Jackson is the court’s 116th justice and she took the place Thursday of the justice she once worked for. Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement took effect at noon.

Jackson, accompanied by her family and friends, recited two of the oaths that Supreme Court justices must take, one administered in Breyer’s presence, the other by Chief Judge John Roberts.

Continue reading: Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Confirmation Was a Referendum on Who Gets to Have Power in America

This is a BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

WASHINGTON — Nearly three months after she won confirmation to the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in as the court’s 116th justice on Thursday.

Jackson, 51 years of age, will take office as Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

The switch takes place at noon, the moment Breyer said in a letter to President Joe Biden that his retirement will take effect after nearly 28 years on the nation’s highest court. In a ceremony streamed live on the court’s website. Jackson will read two Supreme Court justices’ oaths. One administered by Breyer, the other by Chief Judge John Roberts.

Continue reading: What Black Women Saw at Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Confirmation Hearings

Jackson is a federal judge who has been serving since 2013. She will become the first Black woman justice. She will be joining three women, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett — the first time four women will serve together on the nine-member court.

Biden nominated Jackson in February, a month after Breyer, 83, announced he would retire at the end of the court’s term, assuming his successor had been confirmed. Breyer’s earlier-than-usual announcement and the condition he attached was a recognition of the Democrats’ tenuous hold on the Senate in an era of hyper-partisanship, especially surrounding federal judgeships.

The Senate confirmed Jackson’s nomination in early April, by a 53-47 mostly party-line vote that included support from three Republicans.

Ever since, she was in a kind of judicial limbo. While remaining on the Washington, D.C. federal appeals court, she is not hearing cases. Biden promoted her from her district judgeship, which was awarded to President Barack Obama.

Jackson can begin work right away, although the court has just completed the majority of its work up to the fall. There will also be occasional emergency appeals. She will have time to adjust and get to know the approximately two dozen cases Jackson has been assigned to begin in October. There will also be hundreds more appeals to deal with over the summer.

The court issued final opinions earlier Thursday after a momentous and rancorous term that included overturning Roe v. Wade’s guarantee of the right to an abortion. One of Thursday’s decisions limited how the Environmental Protection Agency can use the nation’s main anti-air pollution law to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, a blow to the fight against climate change.

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