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Ketanji becomes first black woman to join US Supreme Court bench

2022 Jul 01, 8:13, Washington

Ketanji Brown Jackson Thursday was sworn in as an associate justice of the US Supreme Court, making her the nation's first black woman to serve in that role.

Jackson joins the court as its 116th member at that time when the court is facing criticism from all over the world over recent decisions and the American public's low confidence in the Supreme Court.

"With a full heart, I accept the solemn responsibility of supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States and administering justice without fear or favour, so help me God. I am truly grateful to be part of the promise of our great Nation," Jackson said in a statement.

In April, she was confirmed 53-47 by the Senate to the high court after a series of contentious hearings, where Republicans tried to paint her as soft on crime and Democrats praised her judicial record, CNN reported.

During the confirmation hearing, she vowed to be fair and impartial as the justice in deciding the law.

"I have been a judge for nearly a decade now, and I take that responsibility and my duty to be independent very seriously. 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 favour, consistent with my judicial oath," she said in her opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"I know that my role as a judge is a limited one -- that the Constitution empowers me only to decide cases and controversies that are properly presented. And I know that my judicial role is further constrained by careful adherence to precedent," she added.

The ceremony was live-streamed on the Supreme Court's homepage. According to the court, a formal investiture ceremony will take place at a later date.

After her confirmation to the High Court, Jackson made a historical speech and said her confirmation "all Americans can take great pride" in.

She also said that it took 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.

"I am standing on the shoulders of my own role models, generations of Americans who never had anything close to this kind of opportunity, but who got up every day and went to work believing in the promise of America. Showing others through their determination and, yes, their perseverance that good, good things can be done in this great country," Jackson said.

She further quoted the late poet Maya Angelou and said, "I do so now while bringing the gifts my ancestors gave. I am the dream and the hope of the slave."

Justice Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Miami. She graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Justice Breyer's alma mater, and clerked for him during the 1999-2000 Supreme Court term, according to CNN. 


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