Joe Biden’s nominee for the supreme court, Ketanji Brown Jackson, has been a judge of the United States court of appeals for the DC circuit since June after the 51-year old Harvard graduate replaced attorney general Merrick Garland.
The DC circuit has historically been seen as a stepping stone to the supreme court. As a district court judge, Jasckson has issued multiple high-profile rulings.
In addition to being the judge who sentenced the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorist to four years in prison, Jackson ruled against the Trump administration’s attempt to protect Don McGahn, a former White House counsel from testifying before Congress. She wrote: “Stated simply, the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded history is that presidents are not kings.”
From 2010 to 2014 Jackson served as vice chair of the United States Sentencing Commission, during which the commission significantly reduced sentences for numerous drug offenders.
Born in Washington and raised in Miami, prior to the bench Jackson clerked for three federal jurists, including Justice Stephen Breyer himself. As a public defender, she was paid by the federal government to represent criminal defendants who were unable to afford their own lawyers.
During her time as a public defender, Jackson worked on multiple Guantanamo-related cases. One of the clients she was assigned to represent was Khli Ali Gul, an Afghan detainee at the American naval base.
From 2002 to 2004, Jackson worked for Kenneth Feinberg, the attorney who was known for his role as the special master of the US government’s 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
In 2016, Barack Obama interviewed Jackson as a potential nominee following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
In 2020, Jackson praised Breyer during a virtual conference, saying that he “opened doors of opportunities” by hiring law clerks from diverse backgrounds. “As a descendant of slaves, let me just say that, Justice [Breyer], your thoughtfulness in that regard has…