Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes first Black woman to serve on US Supreme Court
The White House
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes first Black woman to serve on US Supreme Court

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on Thursday became the first Black woman to serve on the US Supreme Court Justice. Justice Jackson took two oaths of office: the constitutional oath and the judicial oath. The constitutional oath was delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts and the judicial oath was delivered by former Justice Stephen Breyer, who retired as Justice Jackson was sworn in.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) celebrated the news, sayingI’m thrilled to see Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson sworn in today as the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court! As a former public defender, she’ll bring an invaluable perspective to the bench.” Senator Cory Booker also celebrated the occasion, saying, “The United States of America is better today because of you: Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.”

Justice Jackson’s historic confirmation came after a complex and politically fraught confirmation process. Justice Jackson went through four days of senatorial hearings prior to her confirmation, with some lawmakers making veiled claims of a problematic sentencing record for certain crimes. The confirmation results split mainly along party lines, with only Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) crossing the aisle to support the incoming justice. 

Justice Jackson has been celebrated for her composure in the face of a difficult confirmation process with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) saying she “show[ed] dignity, grace and poise and the nation saw the temperament of a good, strong person who is ready to serve on the highest court in the law.”

Justice Jackson will have an official investiture once the Supreme Court is back in session in October 2022.