Brown, Ketanji Jackson, 51, became the first Black woman to be sworn in as a Supreme Court justice in the country’s history on Thursday. Jackson joins the Supreme Court at a time when it is making headlines for overturning Roe vs Wade and ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot impose broad limits on greenhouse gas emissions. She will join the Supreme Court’s liberal bloc, which currently has a 6-3 conservative majority. Jackson was the most recent addition to the Supreme Court following the retirement of liberal Justice Stephen Breyer.
“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 favour,” Jackson said in a statement.
President Joe Biden chose Jackson after a year on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She was a federal district judge for nearly eight years before that. On April 7, this year, the Senate finally confirmed her appointment with a 53-47 vote in her favor.
After Jackson was appointed as the 116th Supreme Court justice, Justice Breyer expressed his delight.
“I am glad for America,” Breyer said, according to Reuters. “Ketanji will interpret the law wisely and fairly, making it work better for the American people it serves.”
Jackson will join the Supreme Court with immediate effect, but her first argument will be in October of the following term. The following term will include a major case involving affirmative action, which is used by colleges and universities to admit minority students.