By Kemi Osukoya
July 1, 2022
United States Supreme Court Justice Kentaji Brown Jackson took oaths on Thursday as the newest justice on the Supreme Court, making history as the first black woman elevated to the nation’s highest court.
With her immediate family, her husband-Dr. Patrick Jackson and their two children–Taila and Leila, looking on, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Stephen Breyer, respectively, delivered the constitutional and statutory oaths and sworn her in.
Justice Jackson joins the nine-seat U.S. highest court at a crucial moment as public confidence wanes following the Court’s recent rulings on contentious issues such as reproductive rights, gun laws, voting rights, and climate change that impact the daily lives of majority of Americans. The rulings, which run counter to majority of public opinions, are expected to significantly impact both U.S.’ domestic and foreign policies for years to come.
Jackson’s historic induction expands the nine-seat court’s liberal jurists to three, including Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. There are currently six conservative judges on the bench, including Chief Justice Roberts, Clarence Thomas and former President Trump’s appointees Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
Nominated by the 46th U.S. President, President Joseph Biden Jr, in February to replace Breyer who is retiring after serving almost 28 years at the court, Jackson is the first judge chosen by a Democrat President and approved by Senate to serve on the court since 2009 when former President Barack Obama named Sonia Sotomayor to serve as Associate Justice. Breyer announced his resignation in January that he was stepping down at the end of the court’s 2021 term.
Justice Jackson, who served until recently as a judge on the District of Columbia Circuit Court’s Federal Court of Appeal, will assume her role Associate Justice on the nation’s highest court immediately as the newest member of the nine-seat high court.