Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in as a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday. By doing so, Jackson will become the first Black woman to ever serve as a justice on the nation’s highest court.
Jackson was first confirmed as a U.S. Supreme Court justice in April by a vote of 53-47 in the U.S. Senate. Her confirmation largely fell upon party lines with Democrats carrying a large amount of her public support. However, the vote was not able to swing in their favor until Republican Senators Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski approved Jackson’s candidacy.
“This is one of the great moments of American history,” Senator Chuck Schumer said on the day of Jackson’s confirmation.
“Today we are taking a giant, bold and important step on the well-trodden path to fulfilling our country’s founding promise. This is a great moment for Judge Jackson but it is an even greater moment for America as we rise to a more perfect union.”
Jackson is a 51-year-old Washington, D.C. native who earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University. She rose to national prominence in 2010 when she became the Vice Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission. Three years later, former President Barack Obama pushed for her to become a judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Shortly after Joe Biden was elected President, she became a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Now, she will replace U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
“It has been my great honor to participate as a judge in the effort to maintain our Constitution and the Rule of Law,” Breyer wrote in his retirement letter to Biden.
Breyer will step down from his post at 12 p.m. ET on June 30, 2022. Upon his retirement, Jackson will be sworn in as the 116th U.S. Supreme Court Justice.