Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson has taken the ceremonial oath of office at the inauguration of the Supreme Court


Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in Friday during a special session of the Supreme Court, attended by President Joe Biden and legal luminaries from across Washington to celebrate the first time a black woman has taken a seat on the highest court. Earth.

Chief Justice John Roberts wishes Jackson a “long and happy career” in our regular roll call.

Biden did not speak during the brief event.

The inauguration was a mere ceremony, as Jackson has been on the job since June and has already voted down emergency requests. But he hasn’t sat through oral arguments yet, and on Friday he made his debut in the royal room that will now be his professional home for decades to come.

At the start of Friday’s event, John Marshall sat in the Jackson Chamber well in the 19th century. in a chair used at the beginning of the century. The Court is steeped in tradition, and the session opened when Court Marshal Gail Curley struck the gavel and ushered the Court with the traditional chant that includes the familiar words “oyez, oyez, oyez.”

The eight justices, including three women, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Amy Coney Barrett, smiled broadly. Retired Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his retirement last June, watched from a seat in the audience as Jackson, his former clerk, took his place.

After Scott Harris, Clerk of Court, read Jackson’s Commission, he was led to the bench and Roberts took the Judicial Oath.

Among the audience was Attorney General Merrick Garland, who was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama in 2016 but blocked from serving when Republicans refused to hold hearings. On Friday, he sat with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar and Deputy Attorney General Brian Fletcher at the attorneys’ table in front of the bench.

In the audience were Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden and Second Mr. Doug Emhoff, as well as Jackson’s two daughters, Leila and Talia, his parents Ellery and Johnny Brown and his brother Ketajh.

After the ceremony, Jackson walked down the steps in front of the Supreme Court with Roberts and was met by her husband, Dr. Patrick G. Jackson.

Jackson’s inauguration comes on the eve of a new term and two days after the justices met for the first time in their annual closed-door conference to discuss pending petitions. The last term split the court along ideological lines with a series of opinions and Dobbs v. It closed with Jackson’s landmark opinion, Roe v. The one that overruled Wade.

The upcoming term will feature cases where race will play a role, including a challenge to college affirmative action plans and a debate over the scope of a key section of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits procedures that discriminate based on voting practices or discrimination. the race

Jackson, the nation’s first black female justice, will navigate those issues and more in her first term. Five months ago, he stood on the South Lawn of the White House after his confirmation and spoke about “the gifts of my ancestors.” Quoting poet Dr. Maya Angelou, Jackson added, “I am the dream and hope of a slave.

This story is breaking and will be updated.