3 Things To Know About Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson

If confirmed, Judge Jackson would make history as the first Black woman on the high court.

The White House announced Friday (Feb. 25) that President Joe Biden planned to nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. If confirmed, Jackon, 51, would make history as the first Black woman to sit on the high court.

She would replace Justice Stephen Breyer who announced that he would retire at the end of the Supreme Court’s current session. Like Breyer, Jackson is expected to bring a liberal voice to the Conservative-dominated court. She’s viewed by many as a somewhat more progressive jurist than Breyer.

Here are a few things to know about Jackson.


In high school, Jackson’s guidance counselor discouraged the future judge from pursuing her goal of attending Harvard University, according to the White House. The counselor told her not to set her sight “so high.” Fortunately, Jackson didn’t follow that advice. She not only attended the Ivy League school but also graduated magna cum laude in 1992. She followed that by graduating from Harvard Law School in 1996, achieving cum laude honors and editing the Harvard Law Review.


Jackson is no stranger to the nation’s highest court. After graduating from law school, she clerked for Breyer, whom she’s nominated to replace. If confirmed, she would bring considerable federal judicial and legal experience to the high court. Jackson has served 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.

Personal life

Born in Washington, D.C., Jackson grew up in Miami, Fla. Her parents, Johnny and Ellery Brown, grew up in segregated South Florida and attended historically Black colleges, according to The Washington Post.  After graduating, they moved to Washington to launch their careers as public school teachers before returning to Florida. Her father attended law school and became the top attorney for the Dade County School Board. Her mother became a principal at a magnet public school.

Jackson is married to Patrick Jackson, a surgeon. The couple met in college and have two daughters together, Talia and Leila.

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