Houston, TX. – South Texas College of Law Professor Njeri Mathis Rutledge, formerly from Nashville, attended the confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, nominee for the U.S Supreme Court.
Even before President Joe Biden made his historic announcement that Judge Jackson would be his nominee for the Supreme Court, Prof. Rutledge believed her Harvard Law classmate would be chosen.
“She’s a brilliant jurist, and I knew she would stand out, even among such a strong group of exceptional Black women,” Prof. Rutledge said. “Judge Jackson has distinguished herself for having a thoughtful and brilliant legal mind. She has presided over complex legal issues, and her record demonstrates her reputation as a fair and impartial judge.”
Prof. Rutledge has written about the Supreme Court candidates for national publications, and brings a unique perspective regarding the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Prof. Rutledge is a legal expert, professor, writer, and former prosecutor. Before joining academia, she served as a prosecuting attorney for Harris County, Texas which is one of the largest district attorney offices in the United States.
The South Texas College of Law Houston professor first heard about the nomination of her friend, Judge Jackson when driving her daughter to school.
“My phone started pinging when the news broke, and I was filled with tremendous joy,” Prof. Rutledge said. “She has the experience, character, integrity, and dedication to the Constitution and the rule of law to serve. She is a tremendous role model and a faithful friend. At Harvard Law School, she was brilliant, down-to-earth, and kind. I am overjoyed my law school classmate has reached this important milestone. While this moment is indeed historic, it is also clear from her record and credentials that she was destined for this moment.”
Njeri Mathis Rutledge is a legal expert, writer, former judge, former prosecutor, and professor at South Texas College of Law Houston. Before joining academia, she served as a prosecuting attorney for Harris County, Texas, one of the largest district attorney’s offices in the nation. Her experiences has given her a unique perspective on criminal law, criminal justice, and reform.
During her years as a prosecutor, Professor Rutledge prosecuted hundreds of cases and served in the Family Criminal Law Division, Juvenile Division, Misdemeanor, and Felony divisions. She served as the lead or first chair prosecutor in over two dozen jury trials. In 2005 she became a law professor at South Texas College of Law Houston. In 2009 she was appointed to serve as an associate judge for the city of Houston where she served for twelve years.
While serving as a judge, her responsibilities included magistrate functions of reviewing search warrants, issuing emergency protective orders, and providing statutory warnings. She frequently speaks and writes in the areas of race, domestic violence, employment law, criminal law and procedure, criminal justice reform, constitutional law, and crime victim compensation.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Spelman College and her law degree from Harvard Law School and began her legal career as a civil litigator specializing in labor and employment law at Baker Botts. In addition to serving as a law professor, she is an Opinion Columnist for USA Today where she serves on the Board of Contributors. She is the daughter of Tennessee State University professor Dr. Delores Matthews. She is a member of Jack & Jill of America. Inc., and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.