He is likely to be at the missing end of a string of important cases, including examinations of the role of race in college admissions and the Conservative Supreme Court, with a conservative majority of 6-3, taking over the next term.
Jackson, 51, is the first black woman to be confirmed in the Supreme Court since Thursday’s 53-47 vote in the Senate. He will not appear in court for several months until Judge Stephen Breyer retires as soon as the court has finished its work for the summer – including its verdict on whether to overturn the landmark decision Roe v. Wade on abortion rights.
When Jackson takes office as a judge for the first time in October, she will be one of four women and two black judges – the first two in the Supreme Court.
And the nine-member tribunal as a whole will be younger than it was for almost 30 years when Breyer, now 83, took over.
Among the newest judges are three appointed by former President Donald Trump, and the court’s historical diversity will not hide its conservative leanings.
In Breyer’s last term, Conservative judges have already left their mark even before deciding major cases on abortion, guns, religion and climate change. By a vote of 5-4 or 6-3, they allowed an unusual Texas law banning abortions to take effect after about six weeks. prevented the Biden administration from requiring large employers to have a COVID-19-vaccinated workforce or to be covered and audited; black voters had fewer changes in violation of federal law.
Replacing Breyer with Jackson, for whom he once worked as a legal officer, will not change that math of the Supreme Court.
“He’s just going to swim against the tide every day. There’s a lot we have to do,” said Robin Walker Sterling, a law professor at Northwestern University.
But Jackson’s presence could make a difference in the perspective she brings and in how she expresses her views, said Payvand Ahdout, a law professor at the University of Virginia.
Jackson, who grew up in Miami, can see Supreme Court cases about race “in the light of the black woman who grew up in the South. He has a chance to show early on the importance of representation,” Ahudout said.
During her affirmative hearings in the Senate, Jackson pledged to discuss the court over Harvard’s induction program, as she is a member of his board of supervisors. But the court could separate a second case that challenged the University of North Carolina admission process, which may allow it to look into the matter.
“Historically, the court has been trying to get as much involvement as possible. Therefore, I will not be surprised if the two are treated separately,” said Ahdout, who was an employee of the late judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The last time the court dealt with race was in college admissions, in 2016. Only seven judges were involved in this case because Judge Antonin Scalia died before the verdict was handed down and Judge Elena Kagan was involved as a Justice Department official before appearing in court. .
For now, Jackson may not have much to do. She remains a judge on the federal court in Washington, but resigned from the case there when President Joe Biden proposed her to the Supreme Court in February and will continue to do so, a White House official said.
This could reduce the number of times Jackson has to clear herself of any of her old cases that later reach the Supreme Court.
Breyer said in January that he would step down as soon as his successor was confirmed, but not before the end of his term. With an absolute majority in the Senate, Democrats did not want to risk waiting until the summer for confirmation hearings and a vote.
That leaves Jackson in a situation that is “unprecedented in modern times,” said Marin Levy, a law professor at Duke University who studies federal justice.
Most new judges start working a few days after they are confirmed, Levy said. Judge Brett Cavanaugh was sworn in in court just hours after a tumultuous Senate vote.
Jackson could take the time to arrange for her staff and other staff to attend the Supreme Court and close her current office.
But she will not have to find new housing or ruin the lives of her husband and children. Her new workplace is less than a mile from the courthouse.
ATTENTION: Lawyers discuss the historic impact of Judge Jackson’s confirmation
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