in ,

Who is Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Biden’s SCOTUS nominee?

When President Joe Biden introduced her as his nominee for the United States Supreme Court on February 25, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said, “I can only hope that my life and career, my love of this country and the Constitution, will inspire future generations of Americans.”

If confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first Black woman on the high court, succeeding longtime liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, who said in January that he was retiring, as well as the third Black person and the sixth woman.

Who is Ketanji Brown Jackson?

Born on September 14, 1970, in Washington DC, Ketanji Brown Jackson was raised in Miami, Florida.

Her father worked as an attorney, and her mother a school principal.

After graduating from Miami Palmetto Senior High School in 1988, Jackson went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard College in 1992.

In 1996, she graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School.

During her time there, Jackson worked as an editor for the Harvard Law Review.

Post-graduation, Jackson served as a law clerk for a multitude of judges, including Patti Saris, Bruce Selya, and Stephen Breyer.

In 1996, Jackson married her husband, Patrick, a surgeon, and the twin brother of former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s own brother-in-law.

Together, the Jacksons have two daughters.

When was Ketanji Brown Jackson appointed to her current position?

Between 1998 and 2003, Jackson worked in private legal practice.

From 2003 until 2005, she worked as the assistant special counsel to the US Sentencing Commission.

Jackson went on to work as an assistant federal public defender in DC, followed by a stint as an appellate litigator for Morrison & Foerster.

On July 23, 2009, former President Barack Obama nominated Jackson to the seat as Vice Chair of the US Sentencing Commission, which the Senate unanimously confirmed in February of the following year.

During her time as the Vice Chair, the Sentencing Commission amended the guidelines to reduce certain drug-related offenses.

Obama went on to appoint Jackson as a judge for the US District Court in DC in September of 2012, and again in January of 2013.

Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer, left, administers the oath of office to US District Court judge Jackson in May 2013. Jackson’s husband, Patrick Jackson, is holding the Bible.Diego M. Radzinschi/The National Law Journal/ALM Media

In March of 2013, Jackson was approved by Senate and received her commission.

On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden appointed Jackson to her current position as the incumbent Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

What are some of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s rulings?

In September of 2015, Jackson ruled that the DC Department of Corrections violated the rights of a deaf inmate under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to terminate grants for multiple teen pregnancy programs early was ruled as arbitrary and capricious by Jackson in two separate cases from April and June of 2018.

Jackson blocked an agency rule for fast-tracking deportations from passing in September of 2019, finding the US Department of Homeland Security had violated the Administrative Procedure Act at the time.

Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Ruling Against Donald Trump

Perhaps Jackson’s best known ruling from the bench was against former President Trump. While a district judge in 2019, Jackson ruled that former White House counsel Don McGahn had to testify before Congress, famously writing that “presidents are not kings.”

The Senate currently consists of 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the Democrats. Though the numbers are razor thin, Democrats should have the necessary votes to confirm Jackson to the Court.

10 Empowering Quotes for Women’s History Month

Ukrainian girl who sang ‘Let It Go’ in bomb shelter performs for thousands in Poland