Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson made her first appearance on the Supreme Court bench in a brief courtroom ceremony Friday

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson made her first appearance on the Supreme Court bench in a small courtroom ceremony on Friday, three days before the new term began.

President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and their spouses attended the by-invitation-only investiture ceremony for Jackson, the first African-American Supreme Court justice.

Traditional welcome for a new justice, Chief Justice John Roberts offered 52-year-old Jackson a “long and prosperous career in our common calling.”

She sat at the end of the bench to the left of Chief Justice Roberts, next to Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The judges are seated in order of seniority.

Throughout the ceremony, Jackson sat in the chair once occupied by John Marshall, who served as chief justice for 34 years during the early 1800s.

Marshall was also a slave owner, perhaps adding to the poignancy of Jackson occupying his former property. She is the third Black justice in the court’s history, joining her new colleague Clarence Thomas and the late Thurgood Marshall.

At Friday’s event, the commission nominating Jackson to the court was read aloud. She also recited the oath she took when she officially joined the court in June, shortly following Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement.

Breyer was present in a courtroom filled with dignitaries, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and former Speaker Paul Ryan, a Jackson related through marriage.

The parents, daughters, brother, and in-laws of Jackson sat in the front row.

Several wives of current and former justices, notably Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, also attended. Thursday, the House committee examining the January 6 uprising interviewed Thomas.

Jackson was approved in April by a Senate vote of 53-47, with all Democrats and three Republican senators voting in her favor.

During his presidential campaign, Biden promised to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court.

Before the court began, Biden, Harris, the first lady Jill Biden, and second gentleman Doug Emhoff spent a few minutes with the judges, according to court spokesperson Patricia McCabe.

Throughout the five-minute, elaborately planned courtroom ceremony, the president said nothing.

Back at the White House, Biden tweeted his admiration for Jackson’s “brilliant legal mind” and his accomplishments in filling judicial positions.

In reality, 84 federal judges have been appointed thus far. “No group of this size and diversity has ever been appointed so swiftly,” added Biden.

Following the ceremony, Jackson and Roberts proceeded down the 36 front steps of the court for photographs. When Roberts left, Dr. Patrick Jackson, the justice’s spouse, joined her on the court plaza.

Dr. Jackson added as they embraced in front of a group of reporters and well-wishers, “I am so proud of you.”

Jackson is the first justice nominated by a Democratic president since the 2010 appointment of Justice Elena Kagan. Former President Barack Obama, who also selected Justice Sonia Sotomayor in 2009, appointed Kagan.

When Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, it appeared like Obama might have a third high court nominee. But Senate Republicans refused to consider Obama’s nomination of then-serving federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland. Garland, the current Attorney General, also attended the ceremony on Friday.

In the end, former President Donald Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch, the first of his three Supreme Court justices, to fill Scalia’s seat.

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