Ketanji Brown Jackson has made history for becoming the first Black woman sworn in as a justice in the United States Supreme Court. The swearing-in ceremony happened today (June 30). While Jackson was confirmed by the Senate in April, the official induction was held off until Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement.
Jackson previously clerked for the now-83-year-old after graduating from Harvard University. During today’s ceremony, the trailblazer took two oaths of office. Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the constitutional oath during which Jackson swore to defend the Constitution, “against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and “bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” Breyer delivered the statutory oath where a smiling Jackson swore to “administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich.”
Her husband, Dr. Patrick Jackson, and their two daughters, Talia and Leila were in attendance for the proud moments. According to Roberts, this fall, the court will hold a formal inauguration ceremony called an investiture. However, Jackson’s work on the nine-seat high court begins today. Scores of well-wishes are currently being sent to Jackson on social media. California congressman Rep. Eric Swalwell tweeted, “Congratulations to our country’s newest Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson!!!”
“Never doubt that elections matter [and] you can change history. In two hours, Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in as the Supreme Court‘s first Black female justice. Thank you, @POTUS,” Seattle congresswoman Rep. Pramila Jayapal posted earlier. Another Twitter user followed up with, “Tears of joy, whew, because this history-making moment is long overdue, the FIRST black woman to serve.”
In April, Jackson expressed gratitude for her new role and briefly shared that it took “232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States” before adding, “We’ve made it!” She is considered a liberal jurist along with Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.