On Friday February 25, 2022, President Joe Biden nominated federal appeals court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court–the first Black woman nominated to serve the United States Supreme Court.
Judge Jackson received a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1996, where she served as a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. She received an A.B., magna cum laude, in Government from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1992. From 2013 until 2021, she served as a United States District Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit Court, and until December 2014, she served as a Vice Chair and Commissioner of the United States Sentencing Commission.
Prior to her four years of service on the Sentencing Commission, Judge Jackson worked for three years as Of Counsel at Morrison & Foerster LLP, with a practice that focused on criminal and civil appellate litigation in both state and federal courts, as well as cases in the Supreme Court of the United States. Before joining Morrison & Foerster LLP, Judge Jackson served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the appeals division of the Office of the Federal Public Defender in the District of Columbia. Before that appointment, Judge Jackson worked as an Assistant Special Counsel at the Sentencing Commission and as an associate with two law firms (one specializing in white-collar criminal defense, and the other focusing on the negotiated settlement of mass tort claims). Judge Jackson also served as a law clerk to three federal judges: Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer of the Supreme Court of the United States, Judge Bruce M. Selya of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and Judge Patti B. Saris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Judge Jackson is currently a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on Defender Services, as well as the Board of Overseers of Harvard University and the Council of the American Law Institute. She also currently serves on the board of Georgetown Day School and the United States Supreme Court Fellows Commission.
Judge Jackson isn’t just making history as the first Black woman nominated to sit on the High Court. If confirmed, she will also add diversity to the judicial career experience of the Court’s members. While prosecutors are well-represented on the Court (Justices Neil Gorsuch, Sonia Sotomayor, and Samuel Alito all having previously served as prosecutors), no justice has ever had experience as a Public Defender.
She would be only the sixth woman to serve on the Court, but she would join three others already there, including the first Latina, Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
If you have any questions about the new Supreme Court Justice nominee please contact the attorneys at Rock Fusco and Connelly.