Washington, DC – Today, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Currently a judge on U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. If confirmed, she will be the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
Since Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement, President Biden has conducted a process to identify his replacement. President Biden sought a candidate with, “exceptional credentials, unimpeachable character, and unwavering dedication to the rule of law.” In a release from the Whitehouse, the President also sought a nominee, “much like Justice Breyer—who is wise, pragmatic, and has a deep understanding of the Constitution as an enduring charter of liberty. And the President sought an individual who is committed to equal justice under the law and who understands the profound impact that the Supreme Court’s decisions have on the lives of the American people.”
A former clerk for Justice Breyer, Judge Jackson has broad experience across the legal profession – as a federal appellate judge, a federal district court judge, a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an attorney in private practice, and as a federal public defender. Judge Jackson has been confirmed by the Senate with votes from Republicans as well as Democrats three times.
After law school, Judge Jackson served in Justice Breyer’s chambers as a law clerk. She served as a federal public defender from 2005 to 2007, representing defendants on appeal who did not have the means to pay for a lawyer. If confirmed, she would be the first former federal public defender to serve on the Supreme Court.
Prior to serving as a judge, Judge Jackson followed in the footsteps of her mentor Justice Breyer by working on the U.S. Sentencing Commission—an important body, bipartisan by design, that President Biden fought to create as a member of the U.S. Senate. Her work there focused on reducing unwarranted sentencing disparities and ensuring that federal sentences were just and proportionate, according to the press release.
Judge Jackson lives with her husband, Patrick, who serves as Chief of the Division of General Surgery at Georgetown University Hospital, and two daughters, in Washington, D.C.
Ketanji Brown Jackson was born September 14, 1970.