Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

CHICAGO, IL — Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority congratulates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on her historic nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States.  Her exemplary career has reflected a deep and abiding commitment to justice and equality.

Judge Jackson has devoted the majority of her career to serving the public as a U.S. Sentencing Commission lawyer and commissioner, a federal public defender, and a federal judge at both the trial court and appellate court levels. Judge Jackson currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  She has been confirmed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis three times — twice as federal judge and once to serve on the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Judge Jackson was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Miami, Florida. Her parents attended segregated schools in the South before enrolling at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  Both started their careers as public school teachers and became leaders and administrators in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

When Judge Jackson expressed her desire to attend Harvard to her high school guidance counselor, the guidance counselor warned her not to set her sights “so high.” Despite that admonition, Judge Jackson enrolled in and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College and then Harvard Law School.  At Harvard Law School, Judge Jackson graduated cum laude and was an editor on the Harvard Law Review.

After law school, Judge Jackson served as a law clerk to Justice Stephen Breyer who became her mentor.  She later served as a federal public defender representing defendants who could not afford a lawyer.  Judge Jackson then followed in the footsteps of her mentor, Justice Breyer, by working on the U.S. Sentencing Commission where her work focused on reducing sentencing disparities and ensuring that federal sentences were just and proportionate.  Upon confirmation, Judge Jackson would become the first former federal public defender to serve on the Supreme Court.

Since Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement, President Biden has conducted a rigorous process to identify his replacement. The President sought a candidate with exceptional credentials, unimpeachable character, and an unwavering dedication to the rule of law.  He also sought a nominee — much like Justice Breyer — who is wise, pragmatic, and has a deep understanding of the Constitution as an enduring charter of liberty.  The President sought an individual who is committed to equal justice under the law and who understands the profound impact that the Supreme Court’s decisions have on the lives of ordinary people.  Judge Jackson meets all of these criteria.  She is an exceptionally qualified nominee who is regarded as one of the nation’s brightest legal minds.  We urge the Senate to move forward with a fair and timely confirmation.

This historic nomination brings us one step closer to achieving a judiciary that reflects all of the citizens it serves.   Judge Jackson will undoubtedly make an indelible mark on the Supreme Court, and we applaud President Biden for honoring his promise.