President Biden nominated federal appeals judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court last week, in a historic appointment (assuming it is confirmed) of the first black woman to sit in the United State’s highest court.
The nomination comes after Supreme Court judge Stephen Breyer announced his intention to retire, back at the end of January 2022. Jackson was Breyer’s former law clerk, and subsequently served as a federal judge for the District of Columbia court since 2013.
She ruled on a number of immigration cases during her time in D.C., though has a mixed record, finding both in favor and against immigrants in recent years – though a National Immigration Law Center (NILC) analysis suggests she has the most “developed” record on immigration-related matters.
Jackson is a graduate of Harvard Law School (1992) after which she worked in private practice in Washington D.C. before working for Breyer in the late 90s. She then went into government service, serving on the U.S. Sentencing Commission before working as a public defender and later a trial judge.
There are nine Justices on the Supreme Court, each of whom is nominated by the sitting President for a lifelong tenure – and are informally divided by their political leaning – conservative or liberal. Liberals tend to be more immigration-friendly and while incoming Justice Jackson is Liberal-leaning, so too is outgoing Breyer – so the current 6:3 conservative to liberal ratio isn’t going to change should Jackson’s appointment be confirmed.
© Margaret W. Wong & Associates 2022. The above text is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.