Article

5 Facts About Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s exemplary background reflects the Biden administration’s commitment to nominating exceptional judges at every level.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies on her nomination to become an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court during the third day of a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 23, 2022. (Getty/Saul Loeb/AFP)

President Joe Biden’s nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court comes at a critical time, as the conservative majority threatens to gut federal voting rights protections, undermine labor unions, and overturn essential abortion rights that have stood for half a century. It’s time to bring an accomplished judge with a stellar record and history of public service to the nation’s highest court. Judge Jackson’s dedication to fighting for human and civil rights and her deep commitment to equal justice make her eminently qualified to serve as a Supreme Court justice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Here are five things to know about Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson:

  1. Upon confirmation, Judge Jackson would replace former Justice Stephen Breyer, the justice for whom she clerked from 1999 to 2000. Judge Jackson’s clerkship experience provided her with an insider’s view of the operations of the court, as well as deep knowledge of Justice Breyer’s consensus-building approach to the role of justice.
  2. The Senate has confirmed Judge Jackson three times. She was confirmed to the U.S. Sentencing Commission in 2009. She received bipartisan support for her appointment to the District of Columbia Circuit Court in 2013 and unanimous support for her appointment to the District of Columbia District Court in 2021.
  3. Judge Jackson currently sits on the District of Columbia Circuit Court, which is widely considered the second-most-important court in the United States. Multiple Supreme Court justices, including former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Chief Justice John Roberts, served on the circuit court prior to their appointments to the Supreme Court.
  4. Upon confirmation, Judge Jackson would not only have more experience than four of the current justices combined, but she would also be the first and only justice with experience as a public defender. Judge Jackson served as an assistant public defender from February 2005 to June 2007, before returning to work in corporate law. As a 2020 report from the Center for American Progress outlined, judges with more diverse professional experience improve jurisprudence so that it better acknowledges people’s unique lived experiences. Judge Jackson’s experience as a public defender deepens her understanding of the U.S. justice system and how it touches people’s lives.
  5. Judge Jackson has received numerous awards throughout her career. In 2021, Columbia University’s Law School awarded her its Constance Baker Motley Award for empowering women of color, “advancing the rights of people,” and demonstrating a “legacy of giving back to the community.” In her acceptance speech, Judge Jackson stated that “the responsibility” of being a judge means “doing the work that is necessary to protect the rule of law and to promote equality and justice for all.”

It is vital that the United States has fair-minded justices who are deeply committed to its principles of equality and justice for all. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s eminent qualifications represent her dedication to protecting and advancing human and civil rights. By confirming her to the U.S. Supreme Court, Congress would help ensure the court works for everyone.

Congratulate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

Join us in congratulating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in her historic confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, helping to ensure that the court works for all of us.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.

Authors

Stephanie Wylie

Associate Director, Courts and Legal Policy

Genna Cifelli

Manager, Content Strategy

You Might Also Like

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.