U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who was appointed in 1994, announced last month that he would be stepping down from the high court, and last Friday, President Joe Biden nominated federal appeals court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson fill Breyer’s seat.
According to biographical information provided by the White House, Judge Jackson, who currently serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Miami, Florida. She earned a BA from Harvard University in 1993 (magna cum laude), and then attended Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude in 1996. Judge Jackson clerked for a variety of judges after earning her JD, and in 1999 clerked for Justice Breyer. She then worked in private practice and then as a public defender.
President Barack Obama nominated Judge Jackson as vice chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission in 2009. She was confirmed unanimously for that position by the U.S. Senate in 2010, and served there until she was nominated by President Obama for a position on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She was again confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2013. Judge Jackson served on the District Court until 2021, when President Joe Biden nominated her for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Senate again confirmed her appointment in 2021, by a 53-44 vote, with three Republican senators (Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska) joining all 50 Democrats voting in favor.
Now that President Biden has nominated Judge Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will commence confirmation hearings. If she is confirmed by the Senate, Judge Jackson would be the second youngest justice on the court—behind Justice Amy Coney Barrett—and the first Black woman to serve as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
NC Family will closely monitor the confirmation process and provide updates as they become available.