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AMERICAN attorney and jurist Ketanji Brown Jackson serves as the United States circuit judge for the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.

Here’s everything we know about the 51-year-old judge.

Ketanji Brown Jackson is an American judge


Ketanji Brown Jackson is an American judge

Who is Ketanji Brown Jackson?

Born on September 14, 1970 in DC, Ketanji Brown Jackson was raised in Miami, Florida.

Her father worked as an attorney, and her mother a school principal.

After graduating from Miami Palmetto Senior High School in 1988, Jackson went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard College in 1992.

In 1996, she graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School. During her time there, Jackson worked as an editor for the Harvard Law Review.

Post graduation, Jackson served as a law clerk for a multitude of judges, including: Patti Saris, Bruce Selya, and Stephen Breyer.

Jackson married her husband, Patrick, in 1996. Patrick is a surgeon, and the twin brother of former Speak of the House Paul Ryan’s own brother-in-law.

Together, the Jacksons have two daughters.

Most read in US News

When was Ketanji Brown Jackson appointed to her current position?

Between 1998 and 2003, Jackson worked in private legal practice. From 2003 until 2005, she worked as the assistant special counsel to the US Sentencing Commission.

Jackson went on to work as an assistant federal public defender in DC, followed by a stint as an appellate litigator for Morrison & Foerster.

On July 23, 2009, former President Barack Obama nominated Jackson to the seat as Vice Chair of the US Sentencing Commission, which the Senate unanimously confirmed in February of the following year.

During her time as the Vice Chair, the Sentencing Commission amended the guidelines to reduce certain drug-related offenses.

Obama went on to appoint Jackson as a judge for the US District Court in DC in September of 2012, and again in January of 2013.

In March of 2013, Jackson was approved by Senate and received her commission.

On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden appointed Jackson to her current position as the incumbent Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.

Ketanji Brown Jackson was originally appointed by former President Barack Obama


Ketanji Brown Jackson was originally appointed by former President Barack ObamaCredit: AP:Associated Press

What are some of Ketanji Brown Jackson’s rulings?

In September of 2015, Jackson ruled that the DC Department of Corrections violated the rights of a deaf inmate under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to terminate grants for multiple teen pregnancy programs early was ruled as arbitrary and capricious by Jackson in two separate cases from April and June of 2018.

Jackson blocked an agency rule for fast-tracking deportations from passing in September of 2019, finding the US Department of Homeland Security had violated the Administrative Procedure Act at the time.

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