A couple of months ago as we all tuned into news channels or refreshed our social media feeds, we came across a poised, educated, and most importantly, a firm black woman sitting in a room full of the country’s most important lawmakers answering their question, no matter who trivial it seemed before she could be appointed as justice in Supreme Court becoming the first black woman to be considered for the post.
We speak of the great Ketanji Brown Jackson, whose example will serve as an inspiration to many. Jackson is an American attorney and jurist. Since 2021, she has served in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit as a United States Circuit Judge. As of 7th April 2022, she received a confirmation from the Senate to become an associate justice-designate of the United States Supreme Court. In the Summer of 2022, Jackson is likely to succeed Justice Breyer thus creating history to become the first black woman and first (former) federal public defender to be appointed to the Supreme Court.
She married her husband Patrick Jackson in 1996 and has 2 children together.
What was Ketanji Brown Jackson’s early years like?
Jackson was born as Ketanji Onyika Brown on 14th September 1970 in Washington D.C. The United States. She was born to parents Johnny and Ellery who are both graduates from historically black colleges and universities. It can be assumed that Jackson may have been inspired by her father Johnny Brown who was also an attorney by profession and eventually became chief attorney at Miami-Dade County School Board.
Jackson was primarily raised in Miami where she also completed her schooling from. Jackson, during her senior year, won an oratory title at the National Catholic Forensic League. When Jackson was in high school, she was quoted in her yearbook saying that she wanted to take up law as a profession. The brilliant Ketanji earned admission into Harvard University to study government. She graduated in 1992 with an A. B. magna cum laude. For a year, she worked as a staff reporter for Time Magazine 1993. She attended Harvard Law School and served as a supervising editor for the prestigious Harvard Law Review. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 1996 with Juris Doctor cum laude.
How did Ketanji Brown Jackson’s legal career take shape?
After graduating from Harvard in 1996, Jackson kick-started her legal career with three clerkships, one of the most formidable being Supreme Court (United States) Associate Justice Stephen Breyer. This was just the beginning of an illustrious career. She served in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia as District Judge from 2013 to 2021. This was prior to her elevation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. From 2010 to 2014, she served the United States Sentencing Commission as a vice-chair. As of 2016, Jackson has been a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers.
What are some of Jackson’s selected rulings that elevated position in the U.S. Justice system?
In 2013 case of the American Meat Institute vs. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Jackson dismissed the meat packaging industry’s request for an injunction to block a rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to identify the country of origin of the animal.
In the 2014 case of Depomed v. Department of Health and Human Services, Jackson pointed out the violation of the Administrative Procedure Act by the Food and Drug Administration.
In 2018, Jackson presided over 2 essential cases challenged the Department of Health and Human Services. In the same year, she also dismissed 40 cases of wrongful death post the disappearance of Flight 370 by Malaysian Airlines. In 2019, in the case of Center for Biological Diversity v McAleenan, Jackson had deduced in her judgment that the Congress had stripped the federal courts of their jurisdiction to be able to hear non-constitutional challenges the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security’s call to waive environmental requirements to facilitate construction of the border wall between United States and Mexico, through the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act
What is Ketanji Brown Jackson’s approximate earnings in the span of her legal career?
Given her stunning qualifications and illustrious portfolio it is natural that Jackson has been able to amass a substantial fortune. She received an approximate salary of $250,000-$274,000 annually. She and her husband Patrick Jackson are estimate to have a combined net worth of approximately $1.5 million.