When President Joe Biden proposed Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court in 2022, she immediately rose to fame. Ketanji Brown Jackson had been working as a federal judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2021 at the time of her nomination.
She previously held the positions of vice chair of the US Sentencing Commission and district judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
Salary and Financial Transparency
Ketanji’s most recent federal financial disclosure form, which was just made public, states that she received a base salary of about $230,000 annually as a Federal judge. She makes $3,000 a year teaching classes at George Washington University in addition to her federal salary.
The disclosure also revealed that she had about $130,000 invested in a Charles Schwab S&P 500 tracking fund and $30,000 in a Vanguard fund. She doesn’t hold any specific stocks.
Dr. Patrick G. Jackson makes an annual salary of about $400,000 as a surgeon for Medstar at Georgetown University’s hospital, though that amount can be significantly higher depending on a number of factors.
Childhood and Education
Brown, Ketanji Jackson’s parents, Ellery and Johnny, both public school teachers who had attended historically black colleges, welcomed him into the world on September 14, 1970 in Washington, DC. She has a younger brother named Ketajh who, prior to joining the Maryland Army National Guard as an infantry officer, worked as an undercover drug officer.
Jackson’s family relocated to Miami, Florida, when she was a young girl so that her father could attend the University of Miami School of Law. She attended Miami Palmetto Senior High School in the neighborhood.
Jackson enrolled at Harvard University after her graduation in 1988, where she studied government and performed improv. She earned her magna cum laude degree in 1992 and then continued on to Harvard Law School, where she earned a JD in 1996.
Jackson worked as a law clerk for Judges Patti B. Saris of the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts and Bruce M. Selya of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit after she completed law school. She then practiced law for a year in private practice at Miller Cassidy Larroca & Lewin.
Jackson served as Justice Stephen Breyer’s law clerk from 1999 to 2000. After that, she went back into private practice, first working at the Boston-based legal company Goodwin Procter and then at Feinberg & Rozen.
Jackson worked as an assistant special counsel for the US Sentencing Commission from 2003 to 2005. She then worked for Morrison & Foerster for three years as an appellate specialist after working for two years as an assistant federal public defender.
American Sentencing Commission
Jackson was proposed by President Barack Obama in 2009 to succeed Michael E. Horowitz as vice chair of the US Sentencing Commission. The Commission changed its policies to lessen the severity requirements for some drug crime offenses during Jackson’s tenure, which lasted until 2014.
Federal District Court
Obama proposed Jackson in 2012 to succeed retiring US District Court for the District of Columbia judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr.
She wrote a number of decisions from 2013 to 2021 that were in opposition to those of the Trump administration. She determined that certain provisions in some of his executive orders violated the rights to collective bargaining and other rights of federal employees.
Jackson also ruled that organizations like the Food and Drug Administration, the US Department of Homeland Security, and the DC Department of Corrections had violated laws and rights in other decisions made during her tenure.
American Court of Appeals
In April 2021, Jackson was proposed by President Joe Biden to take Judge Merrick Garland’s place on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Jackson made her first ruling as a court of appeals judge to strike down a 2020 Federal Labor Relations Authority rule that limited the bargaining power of labor unions in the federal sector after receiving her judicial commission in June.
Election to the US Supreme Court
In 2016, when Obama administration officials evaluated Jackson as a potential replacement for the recently departed Antonin Scalia, Jackson was first considered as a nominee for the US Supreme Court. She was ultimately passed over.
Jackson was subsequently named as President Biden’s choice for the Supreme Court in February 2022, and her nomination was promptly forwarded to the Senate. Her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee started in late March.
Jackson has numerous associations outside of the federal government, including membership on the Council of the American Law Institute and the Board of Overseers of Harvard University.
She also participates in Georgetown Day School’s board of directors. Jackson previously spent a year on the advisory board of Montrose Christian School.
Jackson has participated in numerous mock trials as a judge in her other work, including those organized by the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University, the Historical Society of the District of Columbia, and the Shakespeare Theatre Company.
In 2018, Jackson participated on a panel discussing Alexander Hamilton’s legacy at the National Constitution Center.
Jackson married Patrick Graves Jackson, a surgeon, in 1996 after their college romance. Interestingly, he is a direct descendant of politician and businessman Jonathan Jackson, a representative from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress in 1782. Leila and Talia are the names of Jackson’s two daughters with her husband.
Ketanji is actually related to Paul Ryan through her husband. Janna is the name of Paul Ryan’s wife. William Jackson, the brother of Patrick, is wed to Dana, the sister of Janna.
Ketanji Brown Jackson is an American lawyer and judge with a $1.5 million net worth. Together, she and her husband, Dr. Patrick G. Jackson, have a net worth of that amount. Ketanji’s personal assets, which are separate from those of her husband, are estimated to be worth $400,000.