WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly three months after winning Supreme Court confirmation, Ketanji Brown Jackson officially becomes a judge.
Jackson, 51, will be sworn in as the court’s 116th judge on Thursday, as will the man she replaces, Judge Stephen Breyerto retire.
The judicial pas de deux is set to take place at noon, when Breyer said in a letter to President Joe Biden on Wednesday that his retirement would take effect after nearly 28 years on the nation’s top court.
The court is expected to deliver its final opinions earlier Thursday in a momentous and vindictive one that included overturning the abortion rights guarantee of Roe v. Wade. The remaining cases are a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate global warming emissions from power plants, and Biden’s bid to end the US’s “stay in Mexico” asylum program. Trump era.
At a ceremony, the court said it would broadcast live on its website, Jackson will recite two oaths required of Supreme Court justices, one administered by Breyer and the other by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Jackson, a federal judge since 2013, will be the first black woman to become a judge. She will join three women, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett – the first time four women will serve together on the nine-member tribunal.
Biden nominated Jackson in February, a month after Breyer, 83, announced he would retire at the end of the court term, assuming his successor was confirmed. Breyer’s earlier-than-usual announcement and condition he attached was an acknowledgment of the Democrats’ tenuous grip on the Senate at a time of hyper-partisanship, particularly around federal judgeships.
The Senate confirmed Jackson’s nomination in early April, by a largely partisan vote of 53 to 47, which included support from three Republicans.
Since then, she has been in a sort of legal vacuum, remaining a judge on the federal appeals court in Washington, DC, but not hearing any cases. Biden elevated her to this court from the position of district judge to which she was appointed by President Barack Obama.
Jackson will be able to start work immediately, but the court has just completed most of its work through the fall, aside from the occasional emergency calls. This will give him time to settle in and familiarize himself with the roughly two dozen cases the court has already agreed to hear from October, as well as the hundreds of appeals that will pile up over the course of the summer.