Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in as the 116th Supreme Court Justice on Thursday. She is the first Black Woman to serve on the Court and the first former public defender to serve on the Court in modern history. “It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, but we’ve made it! We’ve made it — all of us,” as now Justice Jackson said in remarks the day after the Senate vote.
Jackson’s swearing in came on a day that capped an historically contentious term of rulings churned out by the Court’s right-wing supermajority, five of whom were nominated by presidents who lost the popular vote when first elected to office, and included grants of certiorari in cases that many warn could drastically further erode voter protection and other rights.
“The Court has decimated long-standing laws that protect women, Native Americans, the environment, and more this term,” April Reign, co-founder of Sista SCOTUS, told theGrio. “While her impact may not be felt immediately, I find some measure of hope in her ability to provide balanced and humane perspectives, based on both her lived experience and her time as a public defender, while in deliberation with her colleagues.” (The Grio, Ebony, NewsOne, The 19th* News, E&E News, AP, Politico, New York Times $, The Guardian, NPR, Deutsche Welle; Term retrospective: Slate, Prism Reports, E&E News, Reuters; Upcoming term: Vox)