Justice Breyer has announced that he will be retiring from the Supreme Court and President Biden has nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to replace him. In a statement, Biden said, “I select a nominee worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence and decency someone extremely qualified, with a brilliant legal mind, with the utmost character and integrity, which are equally as important.”
Ketanji Brown Jackson was born in Washington D.C. but grew up in Miami. During her childhood her father attended law school and her mom was a teacher. Her love for the law traced back to when she sat next to her father in their apartment as he tackled his law school homework – reading cases and preparing for Socratic questioning.
In high school, she was a speech and debate star. When she told her guidance counselor that she wanted to attend Harvard law school, they told her not to set her “Sights so high.” Despite their warning, she went to Harvard University, and then later attended Harvard Law School, where she graduated Cum Laude and was an editor of the ‘Harvard Law Review’.
After law school she served as a Judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Then, President Obama nominated her to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She again was nominated by President Obama to serve as the Vice-Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and she also served as a public defender for those who couldn’t pay for a lawyer. She also was a Supreme Court clerk under Justice Breyer.
Her confirmation hearing lasted four days; she was asked questions from Republicans and Democrats about her qualifications. Most Republicans questioned her on critical race theory, cultural issues, and children’s books. Few Republicans brought up her intelligence and qualifications for the job. Democrats brought up how she is making history. At the end of the hearing, Judge Jackson said that “She hopes to inspire people to try to follow this path.”
The Senate will vote on her confirmation, on April 4, and after that, the full Senate will hold a vote.
Almost all the students here at Highland that I talked to, feel that Kentaji Brown Jackson is the most qualified out of all the Supreme Court judges because of her outstanding resume of being a public defender, serving as vice-chair, and serving on the District Court. They also feel it is time for the African American community to be more represented on the Supreme court, and that by her being confirmed she would be historical and inspire young girls around the world to be whatever they want to be.