Ketanji Brown Jackson nominated for SCOTUS

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Ketanji Brown Jackson nominated for SCOTUS

Today, President Biden announced his intention to nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States. If confirmed by the Senate, Jackson would become the sixth woman and the first black woman to serve on the Court.

An ALI member since 2012, Jackson was elected to the ALI Council in 2016 and served on the Membership Advisory Group for the Model Criminal Code: Sentencing.

Excerpt from the White House announcement:

Justice Jackson has devoted most of her career to public service – as an attorney and commissioner of the US Sentencing Commission; as a federal public defender; and as a federal judge. Judge Jackson currently sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. From 2013 to 2021, she served as a United States District Judge for the District of Columbia. She has been confirmed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis three times – twice as a judge and once to serve on the US Sentencing Commission.

Judge Jackson was born in Washington, DC and raised in Miami, Florida. Her parents attended segregated elementary schools in the South and later attended historically black colleges and universities. Both began their careers as public school teachers and went on to become leaders and administrators in Miami-Dade County public schools. When Judge Jackson told her high school guidance counselor that she wanted to attend Harvard, the guidance counselor warned that Judge Jackson shouldn’t aim “so high.” That didn’t stop Judge Jackson. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, then attended Harvard Law School, where she graduated cum laude and was editor of Harvard Law Review.

After law school, Judge Jackson served in Judge Breyer’s office as a clerk. Judge Jackson served as a federal public defender from 2005 to 2007, representing defendants on appeal who could not afford an attorney. If confirmed, she would be the first former federal public defender to serve on the Supreme Court.

Before becoming a judge, Judge Jackson followed in the footsteps of her mentor, Judge Breyer, by working on the US Sentencing Commission, an important body, bipartisan in nature, which President Biden fought to create as a member of the US Senate. His work there focused on reducing unwarranted sentencing disparities and ensuring that federal sentences were fair and proportionate.

Judge Jackson lives with her husband, Patrick, who is chief of the division of general surgery at Georgetown University Hospital, and her two daughters, in Washington, D.C.

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