Ketanji Brown Jackson has been sworn in Thursday as the 116th Supreme Court justice and the first Black woman to serve on the high court.
President Joe Biden nominated Jackson in February, fulfilling a campaign promise to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court.
“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 in remarks at a White House event the day after the Senate vote.
“I have dedicated my career to public service because I love this country and our Constitution and the rights that make us free,” Jackson also said.
Jackson, 51, has been confirmed since April, when the Senate voted 53 to 47 on her nomination. It was expected she would replace 83-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer — whom she clerked for after shed graduated from Harvard Law School in 1996 — when he stepped down. His retirement will be effective Thursday.
Jackson take two oaths during the livestreamed event: a constitutional oath, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts, and a judicial oath, administered by Breyer.
Jackson served eight years as a federal trial court judge and last June was confirmed for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia after also being nominated for that post by Biden.
Jackson is the first Supreme Court justice since Thurgood Marshall to have represented indigent criminal defendants as a public defender.