Breyer’s work on the court will conclude with the publication of the remaining comments for the term and possibly with the publication of some new admissible cases for the next term. Jackson will be sworn in at a private ceremony at the Supreme Court that will be broadcast live on The Washington Post’s home page. Breyer and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. would fulfill the oaths that Jackson had to take.
Breyer sent a letter to Biden on Wednesday, saying he plans to end his service in the high court at noon.
“You have nominated and the United States Senate has confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson Emeritus to succeed me in office and I understand that she is ready to take the required oaths to begin serving as an honorary officer. as the 116th member of this court,” wrote Breyer, who hired Jackson as secretary for the 1999-2000 term.
Breyer added, “I am honored to join as judge in the effort to uphold our Constitution and the Rule of Law.”
Jackson will become the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court, and her U.S. Court of Appeals upgrade to the DC Circuit will mean the Supreme Court will have four female justices for the first time. of its nine members. She will serve alongside Judges Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Amy Coney Barrett.
Jackson would be only the third African-American justice, after Thurgood Marshall, who died in 1993, and Clarence Thomas, the longest serving justice of the court. With Breyer’s retirement, 74-year-old Thomas will also become the court’s oldest justice.
New judges usually take the oath and start work as quickly as possible. Although the court will no longer hear oral arguments until a new term begins in October, Jackson will immediately be eligible to hear urgent petitions that have become part of the public domain. the growing work of the court. She has hired four secretaries and will begin handling the decision whether to grant additional cases to court records.
She has not heard the cases on the appeals court since Biden announced her nomination in February. She kept a low profile, making few appearances to speak about mentoring and speaking at the graduation of one of her daughters from Georgetown Day School in Washington.
She also gave an interview with The Postwhere she talks about the importance of being nominated and the responsibility she feels.
“A lot of people are watching and seeing this as an open door for other people,” Jackson said in a May interview. “I know in the past I’ve felt, ‘God, I really have to do well here for others to have this opportunity.’ That I might be the first, but I don’t want to be the last, and my role is to make sure I leave a good impression that others can follow.”
She joins a court divided by stark ideological differences and a liberal minority who responded to the court’s overturned decision. Roe v. Wade with a wide dissent and criticism.
“I am an optimist by nature,” Jackson said in the interview. “I will approach this by bringing that and my experience as a judge, my experience as a person in the world, and my interest in making it successful work.”