WASHINGTON: Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in on Thursday as a US Supre­­me Court justice, making history as the first Black woman on the nation’s top judicial body while joining it at a time when its conservative majority has been flexing its muscles in major rulings.

Jackson, 51, joins the liberal bloc of a court with a 6-3 conservative majority. Her swearing in as President Joe Biden’s replacement for retiring liberal Justice Stephen Breyer came six days after the court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade landmark that legalised abortion nationwide. Breyer, at 83 the court’s oldest member, officially retired on Thursday.

“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,” Jackson said in a statement.

Jackson is the 116th justice, sixth woman and third Black person to serve on the Supreme Court since its 1789 founding. “I am glad for America,” Breyer said in a statement. “Ketanji will interpret the law wisely and fairly, helping that law to work better for the American people, whom it serves.”

Biden appointed Jackson last year to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after she spent eight years as a federal district judge.

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2022

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