Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was joined by her family and supporters as President Joe Biden honored her one day after her historic confirmation by the Senate. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was among the dignitaries who flew in to Washington to witness history.
Pomp and circumstance marked the major moment in American history. Vice President Kamala Harris was overjoyed.
"Today is indeed a wonderful day," Harris said.
Jackson herself was overwhelmed with gratitude, thanking so many people for helping her reach this milestone as the first Black woman to be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Thank you as well Mr. President for believing in me and for honoring me with this extraordinary chance to serve our country," Jackson said.
Biden praised Jackson, saying when he made the commitment to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, he could see this day.
"People of every generation, every race and background felt this moment, and they feel it now," Biden said. "They feel a sense of pride and belonging and believing and knowing the promise of America includes everybody."
Among the dignitaries in the crowd was Senator Dick Durbin, whom the president thanked for steering Jackson's nomination through the Senate.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul and Mayor Lori Lightfoot both tweeted photos from of their opportunity to witness history at the White House.
"Well, I will say that it's one of the moments that I'm probably going to cherish and remember for the rest of my life," Lightfoot said as she reflected on several remarkable moments.
"One was her talking about the fact that the arc of her family's story went from segregation to the Supreme Court in one generation. I don't think there was a dry eye in the audience."
Jackson also drew laughs when she joked that her daughters never thought they would be able so skip school by spending a day at the White House. But she also got emotional as she looked ahead to joining the Supreme Court this summer.
"As I take on this new role, I strongly believe that this is a moment in which all Americans can take great pride," Jackson said.
Jackson was humbled by the moment, saying that she would be lucky to have just some of the wisdom, grace and joy demonstrated by Justice Stephen Breyer, whom she clerked for and she will replace this summer.
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For Juliana Stratton, the first Black woman elected as Illinois lieutenant governor, Jackson's trailblazing path is all too familiar.
"I am overjoyed," she said. "I am excited. I think about how this moment resonated with me."
Stratton is the fourth woman to hold the office of Illinois lieutenant governor. Currently, there are eight Black lieutenant governors and four are women.
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Stratton assumed off in January 2019. Since taking office she has spearheaded justice and equity initiatives for women and girls and agrees there needs to be more diversity in federal courts.
"I recognized how important it is for little Black girls, little girls all over the country, all children, quite frankly, to know that this space, the Supreme Court, is a space that they belong as well."
The lieutenant governor was among the Illinois delegation who met with Judge Jackson during her confirmation hearing.
Jackson, who has been a federal district court judge, and appeals court judge, and a public defender made history when she was confirmed to the Supreme Court on Thursday, making her the first Black woman to become a Supreme Court justice.
As a lawyer herself who has served as a mediator, arbitrator and administrative law judge, Stratton uniquely understands the pressure and expectations that come with the significance of the moment.
"So I think that she can expect that there are going to be a lot of young people who are going to be inspired by her, who will tell her because she is, they will be too," Stratton said.