Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in on June 30 as the successor to retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, becoming the 116th justice to serve on the high court.
Jackson, 51, took two oaths in the West Conference Room at the Supreme Court building in Washington. She took the Constitutional oath from Chief Justice John Roberts, and the judicial oath from Breyer.
“With a full heart, I accept the solemn responsibility of supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States and administering justice without fear or favor, so help me God,” Jackson said in a statement issued by the Supreme Court. “I am truly grateful to be part of the promise of our great Nation. I extend my sincerest thanks to all of my new colleagues for their warm and gracious welcome.”
Roberts welcomed Jackson “to the court and our common calling.” The ceremony was streamed live on the court’s website.
It’s the first time four women will be on the Supreme Court at the same time.
Jackson was confirmed in April when the Senate voted 53–47 on her nomination. Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) were the three GOP senators to join all Democrats in confirming her.
“I have dedicated my career to public service because I love this country and our Constitution and the rights that make us free,” Jackson said in remarks after the vote earlier this year.
While Jackson will be able to begin work immediately, the court has finished the bulk of its work until the fall, apart from emergency appeals that occasionally arise. That will give her time to settle in and familiarize herself with the roughly two dozen cases the court already has agreed to hear starting in October, as well as hundreds of appeals that will pile up over the summer.
The Supreme Court issued final opinions earlier on June 3o after a momentous term that included overturning Roe v. Wade and expanding the right to carry a concealed firearm outside the home. One of those decisions limited how the Environmental Protection Agency can use the nation’s main anti-air-pollution law to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
A day before Jackson’s swearing-in, Breyer, 83, who was nominated to the high court by former President Bill Clinton, sent a letter to President Joe Biden informing him that his official final day was June 30 and said he was honored to be a judge in an “effort to maintain our Constitution and the Rule of Law.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.