55 Things You Should Know About Ketanji Brown Jackson


After two internships under United States District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts Patti B. Saris and United States Court of Appeals Judge for the First Circuit Bruce M. Selya, she entered private practice to cover “the rent, bills, and law school loans,” taking a job at a boutique DC law firm.

She worked at the firm for nine months before leaving to serve as clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer between 1999 and 2000.

At the Supreme Court, she regularly worked 14 to 16 hours a day. “I feel so lucky to have had the chance to work at an institution that has such a significant impact on the lives of Americans that few people can even see, let alone be a part of,” he said. she said in 2017.

three months pregnant, she followed her husband to Boston, where he was completing his surgical residency, and accepted an associate position at Goodwin Procter LLP. She found the mesh of her work schedule and her new life as a mother “extremely difficult” and embarked on a “career odyssey of epic proportions”, jumping from one job to another to find a position that better suited the needs of his family.

Jackson’s uncle, Thomas Brown Jr., was sentenced in 1989 to life in prison in Florida for a non-violent drug offense. In 2005, he asked her for help by sending her a thick package of court documents. On his recommendation, a law firm took on his case and President Barack Obama later commuted his sentence.

His uncle, Calvin Ross, former Miami Police Chief.

Between 2005 and 2007, Jackson served as DC’s deputy federal public defender. If confirmed, she would be the first former federal public defender to serve on the Supreme Court.

While he was a public defender, Jackson represented a terrorist detained at Guantanamo Bay. During her confirmation process at the Court of Appeals, Senator Tom Cotton asked her if she had represented a terrorist, if the case had been assigned to her and who the client was.

In 2008, she served as a poll watcher for Obama’s campaign with Lawyers for Change during primary and general elections.

Jackson served as vice chair and commissioner of the US Sentencing Commission between 2010 and 2014. During the confirmation process, she knitted to calm her nerves. “If anyone wants a scarf, I’m your source,” she told a 2017 conference.

While she was vice president, the Sentencing Commission enacted legislation that narrowed the gap between the severity of sentences for crimes related to crack cocaine and powder cocaine. The body also drafted the Drugs Minus Two Amendment, reducing the offense level for drug-related crimes by two degrees. This resulted in over 30,000 retroactive sentence reductions.

In 2012, Obama named her for a judgeship on the DC District Court. His chances of confirmation hinged on the former president’s re-election, so the evening of Nov. 6 was a tense one for Jackson. Retreating to the one place she knew had no connection to the outside world, she indulged in a “variety of services” at Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa.

She was upheld in DC District Court on a bipartisan basis in 2013.

In 2015, she governed that DC Corrections owed damages to a former deaf inmate for failing to provide him with adequate equipment. She wrote that the district’s “willful blindness to Pierce’s need for accommodation and its half-hearted attempt to provide Pierce with a random assortment of auxiliary aides – and only after he specifically requested them – fell far short of what the law requires”.

Obama interviewed her as a potential candidate for the Supreme Court nomination following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

Jackson sentenced the ‘Pizzagate’ shooter to four years in prison in 2017. Although no one was hurt, she argued that Edgar Maddison Welch ‘left a psychological wreck’ when he fired a gun inside Comet Ping Pong based on the rumor that the Democrats were running a child sex ring from the restaurant’s basement.

In 2018, she spoke out against three Trump executive orders related to the federal workforce, including one that made it easier to fire federal employees. She wrote that the defendants’ analysis of the law amounted to “verbal jujitsu.”

She laid off while waiting wrongful death cases related to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on the grounds that Malaysia was a more convenient forum for them. “Verdict on Ketanji Brown Jackson: ‘Supreme’-ly heartless” read one New York Post headline this month in response to his handling of the case.

In 2019, she blocked the Trump administration to expand its powers to expedite the deportation of undocumented immigrants through an “expedited removal” process. Authorities targeted undocumented immigrants across the United States who could not prove they had been in the country continuously for two years. This expanded the mandate of the Fast Track Mechanism – established in 2004 by the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.which applied to undocumented immigrants who encountered law enforcement within 100 miles of the U.S. border and had entered the United States within the previous 14 days. His injunction was later overturned.

In perhaps his most famous opinion, Jackson said in 2019 that former White House aide Don McGahn did not have immunity to testify about Trump’s potential obstruction of the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference. “Presidents are not kings,” she wrote in her 120-page decision.

One of his favorite poems is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s St. Augustine’s Ladder. She says it speaks to the discipline needed to succeed in law:

“The heights reached and kept by great men / Were not reached by sudden flight, / But they, while their companions slept, / Toiled upward in the night.”

She wrote 578 reviews while in DC District Court, and 10 decisions were overturned. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh authored two of those reversals.

it was confirmed to the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in 2021 after being nominated by Biden. Republicans Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski voted with Democrats to confirm her. “I think I’m trying to be a bit consistent here. I think she is qualified for the job. She has a different philosophy than mine,” said Graham, former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In 2021, she received the Constance Baker Motley Award, named after the late judge who Jackson shares a birthday with — Sept. 14.

Jackson was on the three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, which last December unanimously upheld a ruling by U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan rejecting Trump’s attempt to protect the House newspapers Blanche of a committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot. “Lives have been lost; blood was shed,” panelist Patricia Millett wrote in the opinion. “There is a direct link between the former president and the events of the day.”

In his first appeal court decision, decided on February 1, she sided with unions as she blocked an attempt by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to increase requirements for unions to negotiate with employers.

Republicans are worried that Jackson’s race could influence his decision-making. During his confirmation process at the DC Court of Appeals, Republican Senator John Cornyn asked “What role does race play, Judge Jackson, in the type of judge you have been and the type of judge you will be? ?” to which Jackson replied that race “would be inappropriate to inject into my assessment of a case”.


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