“I am standing here today by the grace of God as testament to the love and support that I’ve received from my family.”
Ketanji Brown Jackson recently made history when President Biden nominated her for Supreme Court of the United States to fill the vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia.
Ketanji is an American attorney and jurist and has been serving as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2021. Her father was a lawyer who became the chief attorney for the Miami-Dade County School Board while her mother, Ellery, served as school principal at New World School of the Arts. At her 2021 confirmation hearing for the appellate court, Ketanji credited her family’s professions to her to her decision to work as a public defender. “I come from a background of public service. My parents were in public service, my brother was a police officer and was in the military,” she said at the time, “and being in the public defenders’ office felt very much like the opportunity to help with my skills and talents.”
When Ketanji was in college, her uncle was sentenced to life in prison for a nonviolent cocaine conviction. Years later, she persuaded a law firm to take his case pro bono and his sentence was later commuted by President Barack Obama. Law enforcement runs in her family. In addition to her brother, two uncles served as police officers for decades and one of them became the police chief in her hometown of Miami, Florida.
In early 2016, Ketanji was vetted by the Obama administration officials vetted Jackson as a potential nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. President Biden had pledged during the 2020 United States presidential election campaign to appoint a Black woman to the court if a vacancy were to occur. On February 25, 2022, he fulfilled that pledge by nominating Ketanji. This groundbreaking and historical nomination has been Jackson’s potential nomination to the Supreme Court has been supported by civil rights and liberal advocacy organizations.
Among those who are supportive of the 51 old year old’s nomination is former House Speaker Paul Ryan, a relative by marriage and who introduced her at the 2013 hearing for her district court nomination. I join him and others in congratulating Ketanji on her nomination. May God bless her as she embarks on this momentous and life changing chapter in her long and successful career.