Ketanji Brown Jackson has been sworn in to the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday (June 30), making history as the first Black woman to serve on the highest court in the nation. Her oath comes minutes after her mentor, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, officially retired, according to The Washington Post.
“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, but we’ve made it! We’ve made it — all of us,” Jackson said earlier this year at a White House event. “I have dedicated my career to public service because I love this country and our Constitution and the rights that make us free.”
President Joe Biden chose Jackson, 51, earlier this year after Breyer announced his retirement plans. She was confirmed as the 116th Justice following a 53-47 Senate Floor vote back in April. Breyer and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will administer the oaths Jackson must take during a private ceremony at the Supreme Court.
Jackson’s appointment also marks the first time four women will have four female justices. She will serve alongside Justices Sonia, Elena Kagan, and Amy Coney Barrett. The former U.S. circuit judge will also be the third Black American in history to become a Justice, alongside the late Thurgood Marshall and current Justice Clarence Thomas.
The nation has also been reeling from the Court overturning Roe v. Wade, undermining nearly 50 years of constitutional protections for abortion rights. Brown shared her thoughts about the leaked draft of the decision that shook Americans.