Ketanji Brown Jackson is a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She was confirmed by without any Republican opposition in the Senate not once, but twice. She was confirmed to her current position in 2013 by unanimous consent – that is, without any stated opposition. She was also previously confirmed unanimously to a seat on the U.S. Sentencing Commission (where she became vice chair).Another reason to support her -- she is also a local, having gone to Palmetto High School. If I remember correctly, she won nationals in oratory, which was a big deal to us debate nerds back then. I also knew her in law school, so if it's Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, I hope Tom is wrong about the nominee not getting confirmed.
She is a young – but not too young (forty-five) – black woman. Her credentials are impeccable. She was a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. She clerked on the Supreme Court (for Justice Stephen Breyer) and had two other clerkships as well. As a lawyer before joining the Sentencing Commission, she had various jobs, including as a public defender.
Her family is impressive. She is married to a surgeon and has two young daughters. Her father is a retired lawyer and her mother a retired school principal. Her brother was a police officer (in the unit that was the basis for the television show The Wire) and is now a law student, and she is related by marriage to Congressman (and Speaker of the House) Paul Ryan.
Judge Brown Jackson’s credentials would be even stronger if she were on the court of appeals rather than the district court and if she had been a judge for longer than three years. One person whom I know who has been deeply and directly involved in prior confirmations is confident the president would not nominate someone from the district court.
I disagree because these are special circumstances. It is easy to see a political dynamic in which candidate Hillary Clinton talks eagerly and often about Judge Brown Jackson in the run-up to the 2016 election, to great effect.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
"The bottom line is that President Obama’s nominee is not getting confirmed before the election."
That's SCOTUSblog's Tom Goldstein in this post about who might get the nomination. His latest thinking is Ketanji Brown Jackson, a district judge in D.C.: