First African American Supreme Court Justice Making History

History was made on February 25, 2022 when Ketanji Brown Jackson became the first African American woman to be nominated as a Supreme Court Justice. 

Jackson was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Miami, Florida. Growing up, her parents both went to segregated schools and had the desire for higher education. This led her father to attend law school while Jackson was a young girl. This was the foundation that sparked her passion for the law as she was around her father while he was studying for law school when Jackson was in preschool. In primary school, Jackson was an overachiever compared to most and even starred in debate and speech. Her ultimate goal was to go to Harvard University, but one counselor in her high school told her to “not set her sights so high,” the White House webpage said. 

Jackson went on to prove that counselor wrong and not only graduated with honors from Harvard University, but also attended Harvard Law School where she graduated Cum Laude and was an editor for the “Harvard Law Review”. 

Before becoming the newest Supreme Court Justice, Jackson spent her career dedicated to serving others. She has served as the U.S. Sentencing Commission lawyer and commissioner, a federal judge, and a public defender. She has also been confirmed by the Senate 3 times on a bipartisan basis- once to serve on the U.S. Sentencing Commission and twice as a judge. 

When Justice Stephen Bryer announced he would be retiring, President Joe Biden began his search for a new Justice. He looked for certain qualities such as someone with “unimpeachable character and unwavering dedication to the law,” WhiteHouse said. Someone who is wise and has a deep understanding of the Constitution while having the passion and understanding for the American people is exactly who he found when nominating Ketanji Brown Jackson. Jackson will remain committed to the law and understands the impact she is able to have on the lives of the American people.