During the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer on Thursday at noon, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will become an associate justice of the Supreme Court, the court announced Wednesday. Her appointment will make her the first Black female justice of the court.
The Supreme Court said Jackson will be sworn in during a ceremony on Thursday. She will take the constitutional oath from Chief Justice John Roberts, while the judicial oath will be administered by Breyer, for whom she clerked. The retiring justice’s clerk, Jackson, was confirmed as a federal appeals court judge in April by a bipartisan vote in the Senate.
According to Breyer, 83, he announced his retirement in a letter to Biden on Thursday, he’ll be leaving the Supreme Court after nearly 28 years.
The Supreme Court is leaving Breyer after a term full of blockbuster cases, including the right to bear arms for the first time in a decade, and the right to practice religion.
Continuity of the majority opinion and the opinions of both judges is expected. The court will announce its final two opinions on Thursday morning, including one challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
Breyer told Mr. Biden in his letter Wednesday that he felt honored to play an important role in defending our Constitution and the rule of law.
After being named to the Court by former President Bill Clinton in 1994, Breyer announced his resignation in January, giving Vice President Biden the chance to appoint his first justice to the high court. As Jackson’s nominee, President Obama announced her in late February. Less than two months later, the Senate confirmed her nomination.