June 12, 2024

Washington — Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court on Thursday at noon, when Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement becomes official, the court said Wednesday. She will be the first Black woman to serve on the high court.

Jackson will be sworn at the Supreme Court in a ceremony on Thursday, the court said. Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the constitutional oath, while Breyer, for whom she clerked, will administer the judicial oath. A judge on the federal appeals court in Washington who clerked for the retiring justice, Jackson was confirmed by the Senate in a bipartisan vote in April.

Breyer, 83, told President Biden in a letter that his retirement would take effect at noon on Thursday, bringing his nearly 28-year tenure on the court to an end.

Breyer is leaving the Supreme Court at the end of a term that has seen no shortage of blockbuster cases, the most consequential of which was its decision Friday to overrule Roe v. Wade, as well as rulings expanding gun rights for the first time in a decade and in favor of religious rights.

The court is expected to announce its two remaining opinions — a dispute over the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, and a challenge to the Biden administration’s attempt to end the so-called “remain in Mexico” policy — on Thursday morning and then recess for the summer. 

“It has been my great honor to participate as a judge in the effort to maintain our Constitution and the rule of law,” Breyer told Mr. Biden in his letter Wednesday.

Appointed to the Supreme Court by former President Bill Clinton in 1994, Breyer announced in January his plans to step down at the end of the term, giving Mr. Biden the opportunity to make his first appointment to the high court. The president announced Jackson as his nominee in late February, and the Senate approved her nomination less than two months later.

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