Who is Ketanji Brown Jackson?

by Jahari Henry

Staff Writer

The following story was written by a student on the staff of The Jaguar Times as part of Hilliard Bradley High School’s Journalism Production course.

Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson with President Biden on the day of her nomination
Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson with President Biden on the day of her nomination

February 25th 2022 marked two transformative events in history. On the other side of the world Russian forces marched into Ukraine and began what has shaped up to be a costly and unnecessary war. However, also on this day within the heavily guarded walls of the White House President Joe Biden was making history by nominating Kentanj Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court. Her nomination to the court makes her only the sixth woman ever chosen and the first African-American woman chosen. The historic nature of this nomination and the inevitability of the highly publicized confirmation hearing that will take place raises a few questions that ought to be answered about Supreme Court nominee Jackson. Who is she? What experience does she bring to the court? And will she be confirmed?

Who is she?

Judge Jackson was born September 14, 1970 in Washington D.C but raised in Miami, Florida. Some highlights and accomplishments of her youth include winning the the National Catholic Forensic League Championships the second-largest high school debate tournament in the United States. Upon graduating high school from Miami Palmetto Senior High, Jackson would go on to attend the ultra-prestigious Harvard University and major in government. Jackson would also attend Harvard’s law school earning her Juris Doctor in 1996.

What’s her experience?

After her time in Law School she clerked for many judges on the state and federal level including the Supreme Court Judge she was nominated to replace Justice Stephen Breyer. Her career since then has seen her in many federal justice positions. In 2009, former President Obama nominated her to the U.S sentencing commission. In 2012 Obama nominated her to the U.S District Court for D.C where she served for 9 years until 2021 when President Joe Biden nominated her to the U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C Circuit. This particular court of appeals is often considered the stepping stone to the United States as 7 former members of this court have gone on to serve in the Supreme Court.

Will she be confirmed?

To help answer this question we interviewed Mrs. Kaitlin Rich an AP and Regular Government some questions about Ketanj Brown Jackson and her prospects.

Rich was first asked if she believed it’s important for Americans to pay attention to Supreme Court nominations. Which she promptly responded “yes” for because after all she is a government teacher. Rich elaborated by saying

“The Supreme Court has influence over the policies that govern and regulate our day to day lives, although the court isn’t necessarily a political branch because of the influence it has over policies I think more Americans should pay attention”

Rich was then asked how polarizing she thinks this nomination will be considering the very polarizing fights like Kavanaugh and Barrett. Rich believes that there will be room for “some bipartisanship” but “won’t hold her breath for the overwhelming bipartisan approvals of justices.”

Finally Rich was asked if she personally believes that Jackson’s nomination was going to be confirmed, to which she replied

“Yes, she’s overwhelmingly qualified, and she was on the stepping stone for the Supreme Court. I am fairly certain that we will be having a new justice.”

Biden has nominated Jackson and now it is time for the United States Senate to fulfill their constitutional duty. The Senate hearing for Jackson’s nomination will occur on March 21st, 2022 with April 8th, 2022 as the desired date to hold a final vote. The fate of Kentaji Brown Jackson’s nomination now lies in the hands of the United States Senate as well as history for the United States Supreme Court and the country.