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Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the most senior member of the U.S. Supreme Court’s liberal wing, said he will officially step down from the bench at noon on Thursday, per ABC News. The court announced he will then swear in his former law clerk — Ketanji Brown Jackson — to take his place on the bench as the first Black female justice in American history.
“It has been my great honor to participate as a judge in the effort to maintain our Constitution and the Rule of Law,” Breyer wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden dated Wednesday.
Soon-to-be Justice Jackson will take both her oaths at noon — Chief Justice John Roberts administering the constitutional oath and Justice Breyer delivering the judicial oath. Her addition to the Supreme Court will mark the first time four women serve at the same time.
Kentaji Brown Jackson makes Supreme Court history amid unpredictable times.
Adding to the damage caused by overturning Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas’s call on the court to “reconsider’ other opinions could leave millions of Americans vulnerable to the unstable swinging pendulum of justice.
“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents,” Thomas wrote. “We have a duty to “correct the error” established in those precedents.”
Those decisions, according to Thomas, include cases like “Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell.”
In the 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court upheld that married couples have a right to buy contraception without government interference. The 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case banned states from issuing criminal punishments for consensual gay sex. And the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) decision ensured all gay couples the right to marry.
While many speculate that the future of America will look like its stark past, Supreme Court Justice Kentaji Brown Jackson enters the lopsided arena where her record indicates she’ll fight back against the antiquated measures to stifle the progress already made in the United States.