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Ketanji Brown Jackson Set to be Sworn in as First Black Woman Supreme Court Justice

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WASHINGTON — Ketanji Brown Jackson is scheduled to take the judicial oath at noon on Thursday, becoming the primary Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Judge Jackson, 51, was confirmed in April, when the Senate voted 53 to 47 on her nomination. She’s going to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, who stepping down with the conclusion of the court’s current term.

Justice Jackson is ready to take a constitutional oath, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts, and a judicial oath, administered by Justice Breyer.

Judge Jackson’s rise to the court is not going to change it’s ideological balance — the newly expanded conservative majority will retain its 6-to-3 majority.

It comes at a time of deep polarization concerning the court, especially within the wake of its ruling striking down Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion, and at a time when the court has shown in recent rulings that it’s deeply skeptical of the facility of administrative agencies to deal with major issues facing the country.

Still, the Biden administration and Judge Jackson have underscored the historic import of her elevation to the nation’s highest court.

“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be chosen to serve on the Supreme Court of the USA,” Judge Jackson said in April at a White House celebration following her confirmation. “But we’ve made it. We’ve made it. All of us.”

Justice Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Miami. She graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Justice Breyer’s alma mater, and clerked for him through the 1999-2000 Supreme Court term.

President Biden, during his 2020 campaign, promised that if elected he would appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court.

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