Ketanji Brown Jackson Set to be Sworn in as First Black Woman Supreme Court Justice

WASHINGTON — Ketanji Brown Jackson is scheduled to take the judicial oath at noon on Thursday, becoming the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Judge Jackson, 51, was confirmed in April, when the Senate voted 53 to 47 on her nomination. She will replace Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, who stepping down with the conclusion of the court’s current term.

Justice Jackson is set to take a constitutional oath, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts, and a judicial oath, administered by Justice Breyer.

Judge Jackson’s rise to the court will not change it’s ideological balance — the newly expanded conservative majority will retain its 6-to-3 majority.

It comes at a time of deep polarization about the court, especially in the wake of its ruling striking down Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion, and at a time when the court has shown in recent rulings that it is deeply skeptical of the power of administrative agencies to address major issues facing the country.

Still, the Biden administration and Judge Jackson have underscored the historic import of her elevation to the nation’s highest court.

“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States,” Judge Jackson said in April at a White House celebration following her confirmation. “But we’ve made it. We’ve made it. All of us.”

Justice Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Miami. She graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Justice Breyer’s alma mater, and clerked for him during the 1999-2000 Supreme Court term.

President Biden, during his 2020 campaign, promised that if elected he would appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court.

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