by Mark Sherman
WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in on Thursday as the first black woman to break the glass ceiling on the Supreme Court, becoming the first black woman to ever take the oath in the Supreme Court.
Jackson, 51, is the court’s 116th justice and replaced the justice he once served for. Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement was effective at noon.
Moments later, joined by his family, Jackson recited two oaths required of Supreme Court justices, one administered by Breyer and the other by Chief Justice John Roberts.
“With all my heart, I accept a solemn responsibility to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to do justice without fear or favor, so God help me,” Jackson said in a statement issued by the court. “I am truly grateful to be a part of the promise of our great nation. I wholeheartedly thank all our new colleagues for their warm welcome.”
Roberts welcomed Jackson “to the court and to our common calling”. The ceremony was broadcast live on the court’s website. The court said that except Neil Gorsuch, all the judges attended the swearing-in. There was no immediate explanation for Gorsuch’s absence.
Jackson, a federal judge since 2013, is joining three other women — Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Connie Barrett. This is the first time that four women will work together in a nine-member court.
President Joe Biden said in a statement, “Her historic swearing-in today is a profound step for our nation, for all the young, black girls who now find themselves on our Supreme Court and for all of us as Americans.” are reflected.” Returned from a trip to Europe. He thanked Breuer “for his many years of exemplary service.”
After Biden nominated Jackson in February, Breyer, 83, announced he would retire at the end of the court’s term, assuming his successor has been confirmed. Breyer’s earlier declaration and the stipulation he attached were a recognition of the Democrats’ weak grip on the Senate in an era of hyper-participation, particularly around federal judgeship.
The Senate confirmed Jackson’s nomination in early April by a 53-47 majority party-line vote, which included the support of three Republicans.
Jackson had been in a sort of judicial limbo since serving as a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington, DC, but not hearing any cases. Biden promoted her from district judgeship to the court where she was appointed by President Barack Obama.
Glynda Carr, president of Higher Heights for America, an organization advocating for the development of political power for black women, said the timing of Jackson’s swearing-in was bitter.
“However we celebrate her today, one black woman or a group of black women alone cannot save this democracy. We are a piece of it and we are doing our job, our part. She will forever be able to restore that court.” It’s going to be shaping up and shaping up. But that’s just one piece of work that needs to move forward,” Carr said.
Because of Jackson’s appointment, Judith Brown Dionis, a black lawyer in Washington, said she intended to end her protest against joining the Supreme Court bar. He started it when Justice Clarence Thomas was confirmed in 1991. He said even a series of conservative court decisions over the past week could not take away from the importance of Thursday’s ceremony.
“This is a momentous occasion and it is still a beautiful moment,” said Dionis, executive director of the civil rights group Advancement Project.
But, Dionis said, “she’s joining court at a time when conservatives are holding the line and really trying to hold us back, because they see the progress our country is making. It’s that civil war.” It’s like the one that never ended. This is the court she’s joining.”
Jackson would be able to begin work immediately, but the court would have just completed most of his work by the fall, except for the occasional emergency appeals. That would give him time to settle and familiarize himself with the nearly two dozen cases the court has already agreed to hear hundreds of appeals starting in October, with the summer piling up.
She helped create the most diverse court in its 232-year history and is the first former public defender to judge. The court that Jackson is joining is one of the most conservative since the 1930s. Her crucial cases are likely to be lost, which could include tests of race’s role in college admissions, congressional redistribution and voting rights, which the court, with its 6-3 Conservative majority, will take the next term.
Today’s court is now surrounded by fences, and justices and their families have 24-hour protection by a US marshal after a law resulted in a man carrying a gun, knife and zip ties to the Maryland House of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. was arrested near The threat to kill justice bill was introduced in May shortly after a draft court opinion leaked that Roe v. Wade and sharply reduce abortion rights in nearly half of the states.
The court on Thursday issued the final opinion after a critical and scathing word in which the right to abortion in Row v. Wade’s guarantee was reversed. One of Thursday’s decisions limited how the Environmental Protection Agency can use the country’s main air pollution law to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, a blow to the fight against climate change.
Associated Press writer Aaron Morrison in New York contributed to this report.