by Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Judge  Ketanji Brown Jackson was nominated to the U.S Supreme court by President Joe Biden, a process that would usher her to become the first African American woman to sit on the highest court in the nation. 

During a White House ceremony on Friday afternoon, President Joe Biden said "it is my honor to introduce to the country a daughter of former public school teachers, a proven consensus builder, an accomplished lawyer, a distinguished jurist, one of the most — on one of the nation's most prestigious courts”

With her nomination, Biden fulfills a promise made during the 2020 presidential campaign. 

"For too long our government, our courts haven't looked like America," Biden said. "And I believe it is time that we have a court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation with a nominee of extraordinary qualifications."

Jackson sits on the U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to which she was named by Biden and confirmed by the Senate last year with Republican support. All but four justices appointed in the last 50 years have come from a federal appeals court, including three current justices from the D.C. Circuit such as  Brett Kavanaugh, John Roberts, and Clarence Thomas. 

She is a former clerk to retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, and has more than eight years of experience on the federal bench. According to the Alliance for Justice, a progressive legal advocacy group, she authored 600 opinions while on the U.S. District Court for D.C.; only 12 were reversed. 

Jackson was born in D.C. but raised in Miami. She attended Miami-Dade public schools, where her mother was a public high school principal in the county, while her father was a teacher and later county school board attorney.

As a graduate of Harvard Law School, Jackson has experience representing everyday Americans in the legal system as a federal public defender.

With her nomination, Jackson will be the first federal public defender to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court and the first justice since Thurgood Marshall. 

"Her opinions are always carefully reasoned, tethered to precedent, and demonstrate respect for how the law impacts everyday people," Biden said. "It doesn't mean she puts her thumb on the scale of justice one way or the other. But she understands the broader impacts of her decisions, whether it's cases addressing the rights of workers or government service. She cares about making sure that our democracy works for the American people. She listens. She looks people in the eye— lawyers, defendants victims and families — and she strives to ensure that everyone understands why she made a decision, what the law is, and what it means to them. She strives to be fair, to get it right, to do justice. That's something all of us should remember. And it's something I've thought about throughout this process."

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