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Ketanji Brown Jackson sworn in as associate justice on the Supreme Court

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

And in one more bit of Supreme Court news, today, the country's highest judicial body welcomed a brand new member.

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JOHN ROBERTS: We're here today to administer the oaths of office to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to become an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

Chief Justice John Roberts led Jackson in taking the constitutional oath. Later, outgoing Justice Stephen Breyer, who Jackson once clerked for, administered the judicial oath.

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KETANJI BROWN JACKSON: I, Ketanji Brown Jackson...

STEPHEN BREYER: ...Do solemnly swear...

JACKSON: ...Do solemnly swear...

BREYER: ...That I will administer justice...

JACKSON: ...That I will administer justice...

SHAPIRO: This is an historic moment for a couple of reasons. Not only is Justice Jackson the first Black woman to ever sit on the high court, she is also the first Supreme Court justice since Thurgood Marshall to have experience as a public defender.

SUMMERS: Justice Jackson was raised by public school teachers. In her opening statement during her confirmation hearings this spring, she talked about her parents and the values they instilled in her.

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JACKSON: My parents taught me that unlike the many barriers that they had had to face growing up, my path was clearer, so that if I worked hard and I believed in myself, in America, I could do anything or be anything I wanted to be.

SHAPIRO: Now she's a justice on the highest court in the country.

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ROBERTS: The oaths will allow Judge Jackson to undertake her duties, and she's been anxious to get to them without any further delay.

SUMMERS: Her wait is over, and she already has one of her first assignments. The Supreme Court announced today that in the next term it will hear the case of Moore v. Harper, which could drastically reshape how much power state legislatures have over the running of congressional and presidential elections.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Michael Levitt
Michael Levitt is a news assistant for All Things Considered who is based in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science. Before coming to NPR, Levitt worked in the solar energy industry and for the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C. He has also travelled extensively in the Middle East and speaks Arabic.