Menu Style


Ketanji Brown Jackson sworn in as the U.S. Supreme Court's first Black female justice....By Kathy Wray Coleman of and, Ohio's Black digital news leader

  • PDF

By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor

WASHINGTON, D.C.- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, a former U.S. District Court judge out of Washington, D.C. and the first Black woman to be confirmed for a seat on the nation's  highest court was sworn-in at noon on Thurs., June 30

Flanked by her husband, Dr. Patrick Jackson, a heart surgeon,  Justice Brown Jackson was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts.

President Joe Biden tapped Brown Jackson as his Supreme Court pick earlier this year, the justice ultimately confirmed 53-47 by the U.S. Senate.

Justice Brown Jackson is the court's  third Black justice, behind the late Thurgood Marshall, the court's first Black justice and a Civil Rights icon, and Clarence Thomas, a current member of the court and a conservative justice who routinely votes against Blacks and women relative to public policy issues that come before the court.

Her confirmation is, in no uncertain terms, unprecedented in American history, and her swearing in comes  just days after the court overturned Roe v Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal nationwide.

Vice President Kamala Harris, the nation's first Black and first woman vice president, presided over the Senate confirmation vote as three Senate Republicans, senators Susan Murkowski, Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, broke ranks to join all 50 Democrats in supporting her nomination. The judge and President Biden watched the Senate vote come in from the White House and after Republicans cleared Senate chambers after the vote count was announced Democratic senators gave Jackson a standing ovation.

Flanked by the president and vice president, Brown Jackson said during her speech at the White House after her confirmation that "we've made it, all of us," a likely reference to Black women in America. And she said that "I am the dream and the hope of a slave."

The retiring U.S. Sen Rob Portman, a Cincinnati Republican, voted against her nomination,  while Ohio's other U.S. senator, Sherrod Brown, a popular JFK-type Cleveland Democrat, supported her, Sen Brown saying in a statement that Justice Jackson is supremely qualified and that her confirmation is historic.

“This is a historic day in our nation’s history, and I was proud to be able to vote to confirm Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson," said Sen. Brown when Brown Jackson was confirmed earlier this year "Justice Jackson’s diverse set of experiences and perspectives have long been lacking from our nation’s highest court. These experiences make her an ideal justice.”

On the district court bench in D.C. from 2013 -2021 and until she became a federal appeals court judge last year, Justice Brown Jackson replaced retired Justice Stephen Bryer, whom she once clerked for. Her appointment is not expected to tilt the court's 6-3 conservative majority as Bryer, a  Clinton appointee,  is considered a moderate liberal by most standards.

A Harvard educated judge and Black legal scholar, Justice Brown Jackson will join Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, both President Obama appointees, as the three who make up the liberal wing of the court.

The court's 116th justice, she also joins Kagan, Sotomayer and conservative justice Amy Coney Barrett as one of four women currently on the court, and she is the sixth woman to join the court since its first assembly in 1790, the othertwo of whom were Sandra Day O'Connor and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Also of significance is that she joins the court as the midterm elections near and as the court prepares to hear high profile cases on the death penalty, criminal procedure, and the first amendment, and after its controversial Roe v Wadedecision of June 24, 2022,

During confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee she vowed to be independent and to approach cases from a neutral perspective. She also rejected frivolous GOP attacks at those hearings on her judicial record as a judge who was soft on crime as "nothing  further from the truth." And she told Senate Judiciary Committee members, both Democrats and Republicans alike, that her impartial record as a judge over the last decade speaks for itself.

“I have been a judge for nearly a decade now, and I take that responsibility and my duty to be independent very seriously,” Brown Jackson said. “I decide cases from a neutral posture. I evaluate the facts, and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me, without fear or favor, consistent with my judicial oath.”

When U.S. Sen Cory Booker of New Jersey used his turn at Senate confirmation hearings to introduce a litany of reasons why she is qualified, and then spoke at length on the significance of her nomination and her pathway to becoming a Supreme Court nominee, the judge broke into tears.

President Biden,  a former U.S. senator who was vice president under Barack Obama, the country's first Black president and a former U.S. senator himself, ousted incumbent Republican president Donald Trump to take the White House in 2020. Thereafter, he  fulfilled his campaign promise of nominating a Black woman for the U.S. Supreme Court when he did so earlier this year.  At the time, the president, a staunch Democrat, called Brown Jackson one of the nation’s brightest legal minds  and said that she has "a deep understanding of the Constitution as an enduring charter of liberty, much like Breyer."

Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Florida, Jackson attended Harvard University both for undergraduate studies and law school, where,like Obama, she served as an editor on the Harvard Law Review.

She began her legal career with three clerk ships, including one with Justice Bryer, whom she would later replace on the nation's highest court. Though President Biden nominated her to the  United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2021 to replace Merrick Garland, now the U.S. attorney general with the Biden administration, it was then president Obama who nominated to her prior judgeship as  a  district judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The Honorable Justice Jackson, 51, has been married to Dr, Patrick G. Jackson  since 1996, and the couple has two grown daughters, Leila and Telia. and, the most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview, CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 July 2022 20:22

Latest News


Our Most Popular Articles Of The Last 6 Months At Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's Black Digital News Leader...Click Below