Biden congratulates Ketanji Brown Jackson on appointment to Supreme Court
Ketanji Brown Jackson, Joe Biden’s first Supreme Court appointee, has been sworn in with a short oath ceremony. She is the first Black woman to sit on the court, and replaces Stephen Breyer, joining the current court’s two other liberals, Barack Obama appointees Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
Ms Brown Jackson’s confirmation was never in serious doubt thanks to the Democrats’ control of both the White House and the Senate, but her hearings nonetheless saw several Republicans on the Judiciary Committee attack her for her supposed radicalism and alleged history of giving unduly lenient sentences to child sex abusers.
She also endured questions related to the GOP’s current social concerns, including alleged teaching of critical race theory and arguments over sex and gender.
Nonetheless, she was ultimately confirmed with the support of all 50 Senate Democrats and three Republicans.
Justice Breyer is bowing out after 28 years in court. On Thursday morning he gave his opinion on the final two cases of the 2021/22 session. The conservative majority court decided to gut the federal government’s ability to counter the climate crisis but will allow the Biden administration to end the Trump-era “remain in Mexico” asylum policy.
Jackson praised as ‘ray of light during a dark time’ upon swearing-in
Oliver O’Connell30 June 2022 17:48
Pelosi hails ‘historic step’ amid ‘cruel assault’ by court
Oliver O’Connell30 June 2022 17:31
Ketanji Brown Jackson sworn in as US Supreme Court justice
Ketanji Brown Jackson has been sworn in as the 116th justice on the US Supreme Court, the first Black woman and first former public defender to join the nine-member panel.
Oliver O’Connell30 June 2022 17:14
After a short ceremony, Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes the first Black woman to serve on the US Supreme Court as its 116th justice.
The oath ceremony was streamed live by the court and attended by the new justice’s immediate family, including her husband, who held the bible on which she was sworn in.
Oliver O’Connell30 June 2022 17:10
Oath ceremony underground
The swearing-in ceremony is beginning with Chief Justice John Roberts administering the oath as determined by the Constitution.
Justice Stephen Breyer will administer the judicial oath.
Oliver O’Connell30 June 2022 17:05
SCOTUS rejects Covid-19 shot mandate case from New York
The Supreme Court declined on Thursday to take up a case involving a Covid-19 vaccine requirement for health care workers in New York that does not offer an exemption for religious reasons.
The court’s action follows a decision in December in which the justices declined an emergency request to halt the requirement. At the time, doctors, nurses, and other medical workers said they were being forced to choose between their jobs and religious beliefs.
Three conservative justices — Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito — dissented earlier and did so again Thursday.
New York is one of three states, along with Maine and Rhode Island, that do not accommodate health care workers who object to the vaccine on religious grounds.
The court had previously turned away health care workers in Maine, who filed a similar challenge, with the same three justices in dissent.
Oliver O’Connell30 June 2022 16:48
ICYMI: Biden blasts GOP’s ‘verbal abuse’ during Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings
The Independent‘s Washington political team reported on the historic event at the time.
Oliver O’Connell30 June 2022 16:40
SCOTUS to review powers of state legislatures in federal elections
The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear an appeal from North Carolina Republicans that could drastically limit state court authority over congressional redistricting, as well as elections for Congress and the presidency.
The justices will consider whether state courts, finding violations of their state constitutions, can order changes to federal elections and the eleven-a-decade redrawing of congressional districts.
The case will probably be argued in the autumn when Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson joins the bench for her first term.
The appeal challenges a state court ruling throwing out the congressional districts drawn by North Carolina’s General Assembly that made GOP candidates likely victors in 10 of the state’s 14 congressional districts.
The Supreme Court has never invoked what is known as the independent state legislature doctrine, but four of the court’s conservative justices have expressed interest in taking on the subject.
One of them, Justice Clarence Thomas, was among three justices who advanced it in the Bush vs. Gore case that settled the 2000 presidential election.
It only takes four of the nine justices to agree to hear a case. A majority of five is needed for an eventual decision.
The issue has arisen repeatedly in cases from North Carolina and Pennsylvania, where Democratic majorities on the states’ highest courts have invoked voting protections in their state constitutions to frustrate the plans of Republican-dominated legislatures.
Oliver O’Connell30 June 2022 16:30
ICYMI: Justice Stephen Breyer withdraws
After announcing his retirement earlier this year, US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will formally end his tenure on the nation’s high court today at noon.
Read Justice Breyer’s retirement letter here.
Oliver O’Connell30 June 2022 16:26
Watch: ‘It has taken 232 years for a Black female appointment’
‘It has taken 232 years for a Black female appointment’, says Justice Jackson
Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to the supreme court on Thursday, as the first Black female appointment in 232 years after overcoming a vigorous Senate approval process. After weeks of private meetings, days of public testimony and heated debates over judicial philosophy and race relations in the US, Jackson earned bipartisan support to become the 116th justice of the supreme court. The vote was 53 to 47, with all Democrats in favor. Click here to sign up to our free newsletters.
Oliver O’Connell30 June 2022 16:09