The Supreme Court docket on Friday hosted a formal investiture ceremony for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the primary Black lady to serve on the court docket, with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris each in attendance.
Jackson, appointed by Biden to interchange fellow liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, who retired in June, was sworn in in July and has already been taking part totally within the court docket’s actions. As such, Friday’s occasion was purely a formality. She is now a part of the three-member liberal minority on the court docket, which is dominated, 6-3, by conservatives.
Throughout the quick ceremony, Chief Justice John Roberts made transient remarks, telling Jackson it was “my pleasure to increase to you a really heat welcome.”
Throughout the ceremony, Jackson initially sat in a chair that was as soon as utilized by Chief Justice John Marshall within the nineteenth century, and that has been used for investitures since 1972. Roberts then invited her to hitch the opposite justices behind the bench the place he administered the judicial oath. The ceremony ended with Jackson taking her seat on the far proper of the bench, as is customary for essentially the most junior justice.
Biden and Harris sat with different dignitaries within the courtroom, together with Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several other senators. Biden and Harris additionally met briefly with the justices earlier than the ceremony, a court docket spokeswoman mentioned. Breyer and fellow retired justice Anthony Kennedy had been additionally current.
Spouses of the present justices had been amongst these on the occasion, together with Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the spouse of conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, who has questioned the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election and gave proof Thursday to the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.
Jackson is the third Black justice, after Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and is the sixth lady to serve on the court docket. For the primary time, the Supreme Court docket has 4 ladies serving as justices on the identical time.
The court docket’s new nine-month time period begins Monday, with the justices taking over a collection of contentious circumstances, together with a number of touching upon race. The court docket introduced Wednesday that members of the general public will be capable to attend oral arguments for the primary time for the reason that pandemic led to a shutdown in March 2020. The court docket will proceed to offer an audio livestream of arguments, a growth launched through the pandemic.