50 Facts About Ketanji Brown Jackson

1.

Ketanji Onyika Brown Jackson is an American jurist who serves as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

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2.

Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed by the United States Senate on April 7,2022, and sworn into office on June 30.

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3.

Ketanji Brown Jackson was previously a United States circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 2021 to 2022.

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4.

Ketanji Brown Jackson began her legal career with three clerkships, including one with US Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer.

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5.

Ketanji Brown Jackson was vice chair of the United States Sentencing Commission from 2010 to 2014.

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6.

Ketanji Brown Jackson succeeded Justice Breyer upon his retirement from the court on June 30,2022.

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7.

Ketanji Brown Jackson is the first Black woman and the first former federal public defender to serve on the Supreme Court.

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8.

Years later, Ketanji Brown Jackson persuaded a law firm to take his case pro bono, and President Barack Obama eventually commuted his sentence.

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9.

Ketanji Brown Jackson grew up in the Miami, Florida, area and attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School.

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10.

Ketanji Brown Jackson then studied government at Harvard University, having applied to Harvard despite her high school guidance counselor's advice to set her sights lower.

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11.

At Harvard, Ketanji Brown Jackson performed improv comedy and took classes in drama, and led protests against a student who displayed a Confederate flag from his dorm window.

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12.

Ketanji Brown Jackson worked as a staff reporter and researcher for Time magazine from 1992 to 1993, then attended Harvard Law School, where she was a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review.

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13.

From 2005 to 2007, Ketanji Brown Jackson was an assistant federal public defender in Washington, DC, where she handled cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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14.

On July 23,2009, Barack Obama nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to become vice chair of the United States Sentencing Commission.

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15.

Ketanji Brown Jackson succeeded Michael E Horowitz, who had served from 2003 until 2009.

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16.

On September 20,2012, Obama nominated Jackson to serve as a United States district judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to the seat vacated by retiring judge Henry H Kennedy Jr.

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17.

Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed by the full Senate by voice vote on March 22,2013.

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18.

Ketanji Brown Jackson received her commission on March 26,2013, and was sworn in by Justice Breyer in May 2013.

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19.

Ketanji Brown Jackson handled a number of challenges to executive agency actions that raised questions of administrative law.

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20.

Ketanji Brown Jackson issued rulings in several cases that gained particular political attention.

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21.

Bloomberg Law reported in spring 2021 that conservative activists were pointing to certain decisions by Ketanji Brown Jackson that had been reversed on appeal as a "potential blemish on her record".

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22.

In 2019, Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled that provisions in three Trump executive orders conflicted with federal employee rights to collective bargaining.

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23.

Ketanji Brown Jackson's decision was reversed unanimously by the DC Circuit.

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24.

Nan Aron, president of the liberal Alliance for Justice, defended Ketanji Brown Jackson's record, saying Ketanji Brown Jackson "has written nearly 600 opinions and been reversed less than twelve times".

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25.

Ketanji Brown Jackson found that the rule likely did not violate the First Amendment.

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26.

In Depomed v Department of Health and Human Services, Jackson ruled that the Food and Drug Administration had violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it failed to grant pharmaceutical company Depomed market exclusivity for its orphan drug Gralise.

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27.

Ketanji Brown Jackson concluded that the Orphan Drug Act required the FDA to grant Gralise exclusivity.

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28.

In Pierce v District of Columbia, Jackson ruled that the DC Department of Corrections violated the rights of a deaf inmate under the Americans with Disabilities Act because jail officials failed to provide the inmate with reasonable accommodations, or to assess his need for reasonable accommodations, during his detention in 2012.

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29.

Ketanji Brown Jackson held that "the District's willful blindness regarding" Pierce's need for accommodation and its half-hearted attempt to provide Pierce with a random assortment of auxiliary aids—and only after he specifically requested them—fell far short of what the law requires.

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30.

Ketanji Brown Jackson ruled that the decision to terminate the grants early, without any explanation for doing so, was arbitrary and capricious.

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31.

Ketanji Brown Jackson concluded that the executive orders violated the right of federal employees to collectively bargain, as guaranteed by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.

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32.

In 2018, Ketanji Brown Jackson dismissed 40 wrongful death and product liability lawsuits stemming from the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which had been combined into a single multidistrict litigation.

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33.

Ketanji Brown Jackson held that under the doctrine of forum non conveniens, the suits should be brought in Malaysia, not the United States.

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34.

In 2019, in Center for Biological Diversity v McAleenan, Jackson held that Congress had, through the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, stripped federal courts of jurisdiction to hear non-constitutional challenges to the United States Secretary of Homeland Security's decision to waive certain environmental requirements to facilitate construction of a border wall on the United States and Mexico border.

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35.

In 2019, Jackson issued a preliminary injunction in Make The Road New York v McAleenan, blocking a Trump administration rule that would have expanded expedited removal without immigration court hearings for undocumented immigrants.

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36.

Ketanji Brown Jackson found that the US Department of Homeland Security had violated the Administrative Procedure Act because its decision was arbitrary and capricious and the agency did not seek public comment before issuing the rule.

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37.

In 2019, Jackson issued a ruling in Committee on the Judiciary of the US House of Representatives v McGahn in which the House Committee on the Judiciary sued Don McGahn, former White House Counsel for the Trump administration, to compel him to comply with the subpoena to appear at a hearing on its impeachment inquiry on issues of alleged obstruction of justice by the administration.

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38.

On March 30,2021, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve as a United States circuit judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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39.

Ketanji Brown Jackson was one of five candidates interviewed as a potential nominee for the vacancy.

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40.

On February 25,2022, Biden announced that Ketanji Brown Jackson was his nominee for associate justice of the Supreme Court.

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41.

Ketanji Brown Jackson received her judicial commission as an associate justice on April 8,2022.

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42.

Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in and became an associate justice on June 30,2022, at noon, when Breyer's retirement went into effect.

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43.

At noon, Justice Breyer officially retired and Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in, becoming the first Black woman and the first former federal public defender to serve on the Supreme Court.

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44.

In January 2022, The New York Times reported that Ketanji Brown Jackson had "not yet written a body of appeals court opinions expressing a legal philosophy" because she had joined the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in the summer of 2021.

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45.

Ketanji Brown Jackson is a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on Defender Services as well as Harvard University's Board of Overseers and the Council of the American Law Institute.

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46.

Ketanji Brown Jackson currently serves on the board of Georgetown Day School and the US Supreme Court Fellows Commission.

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47.

Ketanji Brown Jackson has served as a judge in several mock trials with the Shakespeare Theatre Company and for the Historical Society of the District of Columbia's Mock Court Program.

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48.

In 2017, Ketanji Brown Jackson presented at the University of Georgia School of Law's 35th Edith House Lecture.

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49.

In 2018, Ketanji Brown Jackson participated as a panelist at the National Constitution Center's town hall on the legacy of Alexander Hamilton.

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50.

In 1996, Brown married surgeon Patrick Graves Jackson, who is a descendant of Continental Congress delegate Jonathan Jackson, and is related to US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

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