Miami, FL

Ketanji Brown Jackson is nominated to U.S. Supreme Court

CJ Coombs
Ketanji Brown Jackson in April 2021. Photograph: ReutersThe Guardian

On February 25, 2022, Federal Appeals Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be nominated to the Supreme Court. As reported by KMBC9 News, her nomination makes her the first Black woman chosen to serve on a court that "once declared her race unworthy of citizenship and endorsed segregation."

This is a historic appointment and diversifies a court made up entirely of white men for almost two centuries. Jackson will be the court's first former public defender, and for the current court, she will represent a third Black justice and the fourth female in the current court. Only two African-American male justices, Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas have held this role.

Jackson who is 51 will be replacing 83-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer who plans to retire this summer at the end of the term. In her early legal career, she was one of Breyer's law clerks. Jackson obtained her undergraduate and law school degrees at Harvard. Before Jackson became a federal judge in 2013, she also served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Jackson's nomination needs to be confirmed by the Senate.

'Everyone should be represented,' Biden said. 'We talked about the Supreme Court — I’m looking forward to making sure there’s a black woman on the Supreme Court to make sure we in fact get everyone represented.' Source.

The tentative goal of a date for confirmation is April 8. Once the nominee is vetted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, there will be confirmation hearings. On the committee's approval of the nomination, then it goes for a final vote to the Senate floor.

Once the nomination is sent to the Senate, it is up to the Senate Judiciary Committee to vet the nominee and hold confirmation hearings. After the committee approves a nomination, it goes to the Senate floor for a final vote.

Biden has said he was interested in selecting a nominee in the mold of Breyer who could be a persuasive force with fellow justices. Although Breyer’s votes tended to put him to the left of center on an increasingly conservative court, he frequently saw the gray in situations that colleagues were more likely to find black or white. Source.

Jackson currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the same court that current justices Thomas, Kavanaugh, and Roberts served on.

Some biography about Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

Jackson was born in Washington, DC but grew up in Miami, Florida. Her parents attended segregated primary schools, then attended historically black colleges and universities. Her parents taught in the public school system becoming leaders in the Miami-Dade Public School System. Jackson's father went to law school when she was in preschool. She became interested in law when she watched her father study.

Judge Jackson stood out as a high achiever throughout her childhood. She was a speech and debate star who was elected 'mayor' of Palmetto Junior High and student body president of Miami Palmetto Senior High School. But like many Black women, Judge Jackson still faced naysayers. When Judge Jackson told her high school guidance counselor she wanted to attend Harvard, the guidance counselor warned that Judge Jackson should not set her 'sights so high.' Source.

Jackson went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard University, and cum laude from Harvard Law School. She was also an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Jackson and her husband, Patrick, and two daughters reside in Washington, DC.

Jackson has held the following positions:

  • Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • Vice-Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission
  • Public defender
  • Supreme Court Clerk
  • Perspective on the Legal System

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30 years of legal secretarial experience, and a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. Thinker, giver, and lover of life. Born into Air Force service life, my life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, truth, non-fiction, reading, history, and travel.

Kansas City, MO

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