Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court today (June 30) at noon ET. The court made the announcement yesterday (June 29). Jackson will be the first Black woman to hold this position. The move comes just as Justice Stephen Breyer officially retires.
According to reports, Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the constitutional oath during the swearing-in ceremony. Breyer, who she previously clerked for, will give the judicial oath. In April, the Senate confirmed Jackson in a bipartisan vote. The day after, Jackson spoke at the White House and said, “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, but we’ve made it! We’ve made it — all of us.” She continued, “I have dedicated my career to public service because I love this country and our Constitution and the rights that make us free.”
As Breyer steps down, Jackson will enter the Supreme Court in the midst of highly controversial decisions. Last week (June 24), the court ruled in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. The announcement sent shockwaves throughout the nation. Recently, the court also decided to modify gun restrictions in the wake of mass shootings such as in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas.
Along with Jackson’s swearing-in, the court is expected to pick two remaining opinions before taking a recess for the summer. Ahead of Breyer’s official retirement, yesterday, the 83-year-old wrote to President Biden saying, “It has been my great honor to participate as a judge in the effort to maintain our Constitution and the rule of law.” Jackson previously served as a federal trial court judge for eight years. In addition to becoming the first Black woman to serve on the high court, she will also become the first Supreme Court justice since Thurgood Marshall to represent indigent criminal defendants as a public defender.