WASHINGTON (AP) — Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will join a Supreme Court that is both more diverse than ever and more conservative than it’s been since the 1930s.
She’s likely to be on the losing end of a bunch of important cases, including examinations of the role of race in college admissions and voting rights that the high court, with its 6-3 conservative majority, will take up next term.
Jackson, 51, is the first Black woman confirmed to the Supreme Court following Thursday’s 53-47 vote by the Senate. She won’t join the court for several months, until Justice Stephen Breyer retires once the court wraps up its work for the summer — including its verdict on whether to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion rights.
When Jackson takes the bench as a justice for the first time, in October, she will be one of four women and two Black justices — both high court firsts.
And the nine-member court as a whole will be younger than it’s been for nearly 30 years, when Breyer, now 83, came on board.
Among the younger justices are three appointees of former President Donald Trump, and the court’s historic diversity won’t obscure its conservative tilt.
In Breyer’s final term, the conservative justices already have left their mark even before deciding major cases on abortion, guns, religion and climate change. By 5-4 or 6-3 votes, they allowed an unusual Texas law to remain in effect that bans abortions after roughly six weeks; stopped the Biden administration from requiring large employers to have a workforce that is vaccinated against COVID-19 or be masked and tested; and left in place redrawn Alabama congressional districts that a lower court with two Trump appointees found shortchanged Black voters in violation of federal law.