Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson pledged to rule on the Supreme Court "without fear or favor" on the first day of her historic Senate confirmation hearings.
Jackson, the first Black woman ever nominated to the Supreme Court, in her opening statement on Monday told senators she takes "very seriously" her "duty to be independent" when deciding cases. She currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and was confirmed to her seat in 2021.
"I decide cases from a neutral posture," Jackson said. "I evaluate the facts and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me without fear or favor, consistent with my judicial oath. I know that my role as a judge is a limited one, that the Constitution empowers me only to decide cases and controversies that are properly presented, and I know that my judicial role is further constrained by careful adherence to precedent."
If confirmed, Jackson would be succeeding Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, whom she once clerked for. She paid tribute to Breyer, who "exemplifies what it means to be a Supreme Court justice of the highest level of skill and integrity, civility, and grace."
"It is extremely humbling to be considered for Justice Breyer's seat, and I know that I could never fill his shoes," Jackson added. "But if confirmed, I would hope to carry on his spirit."
Jackson also said she has dedicated her career to "ensuring that the words engraved on the front of the Supreme Court building, equal justice under law, are a reality and not just an ideal," and expressed her gratitude for the "historic" opportunity to join the court and "inspire future generations." Watch the full opening statement below.