Mon, 15 Aug 2022

US Supreme Court Gets First Black Female Justice

Voice of America
01 Jul 2022, 06:05 GMT+10

Washington - Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in Thursday as the newest U.S. Supreme Court justice - becoming the first Black woman ever to serve on the high court.

The 51-year-old Jackson took the constitutional oath from U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts and the judicial oath from retiring 83-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer, whom she replaces. Jackson served as a clerk for Breyer early in her legal career.

Jackson's husband, Dr. Patrick Jackson, held two bibles as the oaths were administered.

After she completed her oaths, Roberts told Jackson, "On behalf of all of the members of the court, I am pleased to welcome Justice Jackson to the court and to our common calling." The ceremony was streamed live on the court's website.

Breyer informed President Joe Biden on Wednesday that his retirement would take effect Thursday after the court issued its last two opinions before taking a summer recess. The court's next term begins Oct. 3.

Jackson is the 116th justice, sixth woman and third Black person to serve on the Supreme Court since its 1789 founding.

Biden appointed Jackson last year to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after she spent eight years as a federal district judge. Following a series of committee hearings, the U.S. Senate confirmed Jackson's nomination in April, by a 53-47 mostly party-line vote that included support from three Republicans.

Jackson's addition to the bench will not change the ideological alignment of the court, which remains 6-3 in favor of conservatives appointed by Republican presidents.

She becomes a justice as public opinion polls indicate a record low in public confidence in the Supreme Court after a number of unpopular decisions, including last week's reversal of the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, which had made abortion legal across the United States.

Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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