Joe Biden Makes History: Ketanji Brown Jackson, First Black Woman Supreme Court Justice

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June 30, 2022

President Joe Biden makes history as Ketanji Brown Jackson takes the Oath as our nation’s 116th Supreme Court Justice on June 30, 2022. Justice Jackson is the first African-American woman and the sixth woman to serve on the high court. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., administered the Constitutional Oath and Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer – who helped usher in this history by resigning, and creating a vacancy during the presidency of the party that had originally nominated him –  administered the Judicial Oath in a ceremony in the West Conference Room before a small gathering of Justice Jackson’s family.

High Court’s New Supermajority: Legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously declined then-President Barack Obama’s invitation for her to resign, and prevented “the seat” to support our two-party system by being filled by a Democrat: as she had been nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Her refusal to create a vacancy by resigning in 2013 was superseded by her death in 2020, when President Trump, a Republican, appointed her successor: Justice Amy Coney Barrett.  The high court’s 5-4 “split” while Justice Ginsburg served, with one “swing” justice to determine the Court’s mandate, has since given way to a “6-3” supermajority.

Justice Antonin “Nino” Scalia, who was best friends with Justice Ginsburg, also did not create a seat-vacancy by resigning, but by his death in 2016. President Barack Obama tried to fill that Richard Nixon-appointed seat with now-Attorney General Merrick Garland; an effort that then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thwarted successfully and delivered the vacancy to newly elected President Donald Trump; a seat now-graced by Justice Neil Gorsuch since 2017.

The most durable Presidential power is the lifelong-appointment of the Article III noble federal judiciary, none more precious than that to the U.S. Supreme Court. This appointment imposes an implicit duty – at the time of appointment – upon the nominated-justice to resign during the term of a president of the same party who nominated her, as an unexpected death of a justice during the term of a president of the opposite party can be a wild card and cause Constitutional chaos, to wit: the flurry of cases decided this month, including, Dobbs, by Justice Samuel Alito, which overturned 49 years old Roe v Wade precedent, and NYS Rifle & Pistol Association v Bruen, by Justice Clarence Thomas, which “freed” the Second Amendment’s text, “…right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,” from the fifty states’ permitting-regulations. Dobbs ended federal constitutional right to an abortion, sending the issue to the 50 states to decide as they would per their Tenth Amendment right. Whereas, Bruen will make the right to bear arms more readily available to American citizens, similar to our right of free speech.

Politically, as a result, Court-packing and using the “nuclear option” in the United States Senate, to inter alia create a federal abortion-right, will now be in noisy vogue until our 2022 midterm elections, when hyperinflation will effect the balance of power in Congress. While our Republic internally argues over the January 6th Insurrection, it now must deal with our national restructuring caused by President Trump’s three  appointments to the Supreme Court. Hence, I fittingly observe that President Trump’s lasting legacy is the new Supreme Court, which honors in fulsome measure Justice Scalia’s argument that the Constitution is not a “living” document that keeps up with the times, like the skeletal system of a baby matures with age, but one that must be understood as it was in 1787. So, now its fast and furious Originalism: back to the past, quickly! This may or may not comport with Benjamin Franklin, who famously answered in 1787: “It’s a republic madam, if you can keep it.” But surely, the Federalist Society can take a bow, for in our preeminent nation of laws, these United States, the Supreme Court rules with finality. Marbury v Madison, decided by Chief Justice John Marshall in 1803. How we manage our affairs internally, affect how we manage our foreign affairs: be it Mr. Putin’s proxy war – in response to what he perceives as an ever-increasing reverse “Cuban Missile Crisis” – against us and NATO in Georgia (2008) and Ukraine (2014 and 2022); NATO’s current-expansion with Finland and Sweden; AUKUS; QUAD; G7; G20; or BRICS, which since February 4th’s “No Limits” Putin-Xi presidential Partnership, appears more as an alternate universe to UNSC with other nations seeking to join it.

About the author

Author profile

Ravi Batra, starting September 11, 2021, is a publisher of The America Times Company Ltd., and since January 2022, is the Editor-in-Chief. He is a member of the National Press Club, in Washington D.C., and a member of its "Freedom of the Press" and "International Correspondents" Teams/Committees.

A member of the bar since 1981, he is the head of a boutique law firm in Manhattan, The Law Firm of Ravi Batra, P.C., that handles complex constitutional, sovereignty, torture, civil and criminal cases, representing governments, corporates and individuals, with landmark legal victories, including, libel in fiction, in “Batra v. Dick Wolf.” He is Chairman & CEO, Greenstar Global Energy Corp., King Danylo of Galicia International Ltd., Mars & Pax Advisors, Ltd., Chairman of National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs, and since September 2021, Advisor for Legal and Humanitarian Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations. He is invited by various governments to address High Level Ministerial events, including, on Counter-Terrorism, including, Astana (Nur-Sultan), Dushanbe, Minsk and Delhi. He has testified in Congress as an invitee of the Chair, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and interacted with U.S. Department of State from 1984 -1990, and then again, from 2006, during the tenures of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo and Antony Blinken.

He has served as Commissioner of New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), Trustee on New York State IOLA Board, New York State Judicial Screening Committee for the Second Judicial Department, City Bar’s Judicial Committee, Vice-Chair of Kings County Democratic County Committee’s Independent Judicial Screening Committee for the then-2nd Judicial Department of Brooklyn and Staten Island, Chair of NYSTLA’ Judicial Independence Committee, with many more bar leadership roles, including, NYSBA’s House of Delegates for four years. He has served as Advisor for Legal & Human Rights Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine post-annexation of Crimea till 2021, and Legal Advisor to numerous nations’ permanent missions to the U. N. since 2009, including, India, Pakistan, Honduras and Malta. He has served: as Global Special Counsel to The Antonov Company in Ukraine, a state-owned company, and was registered with the Justice Dept pursuant to FARA; and as Special Global Advisor to Rector/President of both - National Aviation University of Ukraine and National Technical University of Ukraine/KPI. He remains involved in geopolitics and public policy since the mid-1980's, starting with being on House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s Speaker’s Club and appointed member of NACSAA during President Ronald Reagan’s tenure. In 1988, he was part of U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese’s Delegation to Japan to resolve bilateral trade imbalance. He regularly interacts with the multilateral diplomatic community, and during the High Level UNGA Debate, with heads of State/Government. He is sought for his views as a speaker and writer. 

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