Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in as the first black justice of the Supreme Court on Thursday, in a historic move for the United States.
President Joe Biden’s election to replace retired Stephen Breyer was approved in the Senate with 53 “yes” votes in April. Three Republican senators – Maine’s Susan Collins, Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Utah’s Mitt Romney – joined the 50 House Democrats and independents who usually vote with that party to support their confirmation, giving the nomination modest bipartisan support.
Reads: Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed by the Senate as the first black woman on the Supreme Court
Breyer, who has served as a Supreme Court judge since 1994, announced earlier this year that he planned to retire at the end of the court’s term. He sent a letter to President Biden on Wednesday confirming that his withdrawal from active service would take effect Thursday at noon ET. And he added that Jackson “is willing to take the prescribed oaths to begin his service as the 116th member of this court.”
The swearing-in ceremony will be broadcast live on supremecourt.gov.
Who is Jackson? Here are six quick things to know.
What have you been doing: Jackson is currently on the District of Columbia United States Court of Appeals, which was upheld last June. She has also been a federal public defender and is an expert on convictions, having served as vice president and commissioner of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, according to her biography published by the court.
Second youngest justice: Jackson, 51, will be the second youngest judge in the high court, behind Donald Trump-appointed Amy Coney Barrett, 50.
He has sided with Trump at least once: Jackson sided with the administration of Biden’s Republican predecessor, and concluded, NPR reports, that the Department of Homeland Security could waive more than two dozen environmental laws to build a segment of Trump’s border wall with Mexico.
But another Jackson decision was a blow to Trump, as he ruled against his White House efforts to block former attorney Don McGahn from testifying in the Congressional impeachment investigation. “Presidents are not kings,” he wrote.
Related to Paul Ryan by marriage: Jackson is related by marriage to former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was also a Republican candidate for vice president. Her husband’s brother is married to Ryan’s wife’s sister. Ryan said in a February statement that he and his wife Janna are “incredibly happy” for Jackson and praised his character, despite their differing political views.
It occupied the man to whom it will replace: Jackson was once a secretary of Breyer’s law firm, which he is said to have described as “big, bright, decent, with a mixture of common sense and reflection.”
Sharing a scene with Matt Damon: While at Harvard University, Jackson shared a dramatic class scene with future Hollywood star Matt Damon. He did not end up following the stage or screen, however, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard in 1992 and then from Harvard Law School in 1996.