Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed to serve as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. She was nominated by President Joseph R. Biden to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer. She is the first black woman to sit on the country’s highest court.
Ketanji Brown Jackson was born on September 14, 1970, in Washington, DC. Her parents attended segregated primary schools and then attended historically black colleges and universities. Jackson grew up in Miami, Florida, where her mother served as a public school principal, and her father worked as an attorney.
Jackson earned a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in Government from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1992. She went on to graduate from Harvard Law School in 1996, where she served as a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. After earning her law degree, Jackson served as a law clerk to three federal judges: Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Bruce M. Selya of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and Judge Patti B. Saris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
In 1996, Jackson married Patrick Graves Jackson. The couple has two daughters, Leila and Talia.
Jackson worked as an associate with two law firms before becoming an Assistant Special Counsel at the U.S. Sentencing Commission. From 2005 to 2007, Jackson served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the appeals division of the Office of the Federal Public Defender in the District of Columbia.
In 2009, President Barak Obama nominated Jackson to serve as the Vice Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Three years later, President Obama nominated Jackson to be a district court judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Jackson was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2021.
Nomination to the Supreme Court
On February 25, 2022, President Joe Biden nominated Jackson to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, fulfilling a campaign promise to fill any Court vacancy with a black woman. Brown was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 7, 2022. After confirmation hearings dominated by partisan politics, three Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in elevating her to the Supreme Court. Jackson will be sworn into the Court following the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer.