Biden’s New Supreme Court Nominee

Elizabeth Maher '24, Staff Reporter

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States by President Joe Biden on February 25, 2022. Her nomination fulfills Biden’s campaign promise to nominate a Black woman to the Court, and from the beginning was a frontrunner in his search for a candidate. If she is confirmed, Judge Jackson will replace Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires at the end of the court’s term in June.

Jackson, born in 1970, attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Florida where she served as student body president. She went on to attend Harvard University, where she graduated magna cum laude, and then Harvard Law School, where she graduated cum laude. She also served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review

After graduation, Judge Jackson began her legal career with three clerkships, one of which happened to be with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who she is now nominated to replace.

From 2005 to 2007, Jackson worked as a public defender, representing indigent clients in criminal cases. Later on, she worked in the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an independent, bipartisan agency focused on advancing transparency in sentencing. From 2013 to 2021, Judge Jackson served as district court judge for the U.S. District Court of Columbia. In 2021, she was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. 

Judge Jackson’s nomination has been viewed as especially significant because she is the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court in its 233-year history. In his speech announcing Jackson’s nomination, President Biden expressed the importance of diversifying the court, saying that he believes it is time to have a Supreme Court “that reflects the full talent and greatness of our nation.”

Judge Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the Senate begin March 21, 2022.