Ketanji Brown Jackson, a former public defender and Miami native who rose to become a judge on a powerful federal appeals court, will make history Thursday when she is sworn in as the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
Jackson, 51, a Harvard-trained lawyer who was confirmed by the Senate nearly three months ago, will take the seat occupied by Associate Justice Stephen Breyer for nearly three decades. Breyer announced his retirement in January, clearing the way for President Joe Biden to name Jackson as his first pick for the nation’s highest court.
Currently a judge on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Jackson will take the oath of office at a fraught moment for the high court, as its decisions to overturn Roe v. Wade and expand access to handguns have exacerbated tensions among the justices and underscored divisions among Americans over culture war issues.
» Subscribe to USA TODAY:
» USA TODAY delivers current local and national news, sports, entertainment, finance, technology, and more through award-winning journalism, photos, videos and VR.