Ketanji Brown Jackson Officially Sworn In as the First Black Woman to Serve on the U.S. Supreme Court

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Image: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was officially sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court today, making history as the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court, reports CBS News

“We’re here today to administer the oaths of office to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to become an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States,” Chief Justice John Roberts said at the start of the ceremony, noting that Jackson can commence her judicial duties” without any further delay.”

“On behalf of all of the members of the court, I am pleased to welcome Justice Jackson to the court and to our common calling,” he added while the crowd in attendance gave a round of applause.

In a statement, Jackson thanked Justice Roberts and Justice Stephen Breyer, who retired today, calling him a “personal friend and mentor” for 20 years. She also stated that she is “well-positioned to serve the American people.”

“With a full heart, I accept the solemn responsibility of supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States and administering justice without fear or favor, so help me God,” she said. “I am truly grateful to be part of the promise of our great nation. I extend my sincerest thanks to all of my new colleagues for their warm and gracious welcome.”

Congratulating his successor ,the newest justice of the highest court in the land , Breyer said: “I am glad today for Ketanji. Her hard work, integrity, and intelligence have earned her a place on this court. I am glad for my fellow justices. They gain a colleague who is empathetic, thoughtful, and collegial. I am glad for America. Ketanji will interpret the law wisely and fairly, helping that law to work better for the American people, whom it serves.”

After the announcement of Justice Breyer’s retirement, Jackson was nominated by President Joe Biden in February. 

In April, she was confirmed by the Senate in a bipartisan vote following several contentious hearings.

While Jackson’s appointment will not shift the ideological majority of the court, she is positioned to be one of the leading justices who will interpret the Constitution for years to come.

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