First Black US Supreme Court Justice Takes Ceremonial Oath

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Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in on Friday at a special session of the Supreme Court attended by President Joe Biden, as well as legal luminaries from across Washington who gathered to commemorate the first time a black woman took his seat in the highest court in the country.

Chief Justice John Roberts wished Jackson a “long and happy career in our common calling.”

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Biden did not speak during the brief ceremony.

The investiture was purely ceremonial, as Jackson has been in office since June and has already voted on emergency orders. But she has yet to sit down for oral arguments, and Friday (30) marked her debut in the chamber where it will now be her professional home for decades to come.

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At the beginning of Friday’s ceremony (30), Jackson sat in a chair used by Chief Justice John Marshall, who served in the early 19th century. The court, steeped in tradition, opened the session when Gail Curley, the court marshal, swung his gavel and introduced the court with the traditional cry that begins with the familiar words “oyez, oyez, oyez”.

The eight judges, including three women, Judge Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Amy Coney Barrett grinned widely. Retired judge Stephen Breyer, who announced his retirement last June, watched from an audience seat as Jackson, his former employee, took his place.

After Scott Harris, the Clerk of the Court, read the Jackson Commission, she was escorted to the bank and Roberts administered the Judicial Oath.

The hearing included Attorney General Merrick Garland, who was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama in 2016 but was barred from serving when Republicans refused to hold hearings. On Friday, he sat with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, Attorney General Elizabeth Prelogar and Deputy Attorney General Brian Fletcher at the attorney’s table in front of the bank.

Also in the audience were Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Jill Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, as well as Jackson’s two daughters Leila and Talia, her parents Ellery and Johnny Brown, her brother Ketajh and former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican related to Brown by marriage.

Several of the judges’ spouses sat in a special section, including conservative activist Ginni Thomas, wife of Judge Clarence Thomas, who appeared yesterday before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 2020

Leading Democrats, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and former Alabama Senator Doug Jones – who was Jackson’s “sherpa” during the confirmation process – attended.

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

Jackson’s inauguration comes on the eve of a new term and two days after the judges first met at their closed-door annual conference to discuss pending petitions. The last term ended with a series of opinions that split the court along ideological lines and the historical opinion of Dobbs v. Jackson, who overthrew Roe v. Wade.

The upcoming term will feature cases where race plays a dominant role, including a challenge to college affirmative action plans, as well as a dispute over the scope of a key section of the Voting Rights Act that prohibits voting practices or procedures. that discriminate on the basis of race.

Jackson, the country’s first black female judge, will address these issues and more during her first term. Five months ago, she stood on the South Lawn of the White House after her confirmation and spoke about the “gifts my ancestors gave.” Quoting the poet Dr. Maya Angelou, Jackson added: “I am a slave’s dream and hope.”

This story has been updated with additional details.

Source: CNN Brasil

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