If confirmed, Judge Ketanji would be the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court.
If confirmed to SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States), Jackson will leave her post on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit where she has served since the summer after being elected by the Senate with a 53–44 vote. Prior to that, Jackson was on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for eight years, where she was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2013. Before this position, she worked on the U.S. Sentencing Commission (aka the agency that oversees and creates the durations of federal criminal sentences) and was later promoted to the vice chair role of the organization.
Jackson also has a background in public defending, and if appointed to the Supreme Court, she would be the first person to join the ranks who used to be a federal defender. Way before all of that, Jackson was a clerk for Justice Breyer, who she’ll be replacing if confirmed. FWIW, Breyer once described Jackson as “great” and “brilliant.” He continued, “She is a mix of common sense, thoughtfulness. She is decent. She is very smart and has the mix of skills and experience we need on the bench.”
Ahem, make that two-time Ivy League graduate. Jackson earned both her Bachelor’s degree and law degree from Harvard, where she graduated in 1992 and 1996, respectively—each time with honors and high honors—despite the fact that her high school counselor told her she shouldn’t set her “sights so high.” During her time at Harvard Law School, Jackson also held the editor role on the storied Harvard Law Review.
At just 51 years old, Judge Jackson would be just behind Justice Amy Coney Barrett (who recently celebrated her 50th birthday this month) in age.
Even though Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., she grew up in the south Florida hotspot with her parents. In high school, Jackson was a star on the speech and debate team and started her early political career as student body class president. Now she lives in the nation’s capital with her husband and their two daughters.