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Justice Jackson writes 1st Supreme Court majority opinion

Each justice typically writes at least one opinion from the seven separate two-week arguments sessions the court holds from early October to late April

Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson stands as she and members of the Supreme Court pose for a new group portrait following her addition, at the Supreme Court building in Washington, Oct. 7, 2022.
Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson stands as she and members of the Supreme Court pose for a new group portrait following her addition, at the Supreme Court building in Washington, Oct. 7, 2022.J. Scott Applewhite (AP)

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson has written her first majority opinion for the Supreme Court. The opinion released Tuesday in a dispute between states over unclaimed money is one of roughly a half dozen she is expected to write by the time the court finishes its work for the summer, usually in late June. The decision was unanimous, though all the justices didn’t join the whole opinion.

Each justice typically writes at least one opinion from the seven separate two-week arguments sessions the court holds from early October to late April. But in January and February, for example, the court has only seven argued cases each month, meaning there are not enough to go around.

Jackson joined the high court on June 30, following the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer.

Jackson, 52, is the first Black woman to serve as a justice and just the third Black person on the court. The others are Justice Clarence Thomas, the longest-serving among the nine justices, and the late Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Jackson wrote her first dissenting opinion in November, in support of a death row inmate from Ohio who failed to win Supreme Court review of his case.

Lawyers for the inmate, Davel Chinn, argued that the state suppressed evidence that might have altered the outcome of his trial.

Jackson wrote that she would have ordered lower courts to take another look at the case. Only Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined Jackson’s opinion.

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