5 Things Christians Should Know about Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson
Ketanji Brown Jackson is the first Black woman ever to be nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court. This week, she faces four days of confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee as she tries to earn a spot on the highest court in the nation. Jackson, 51, is currently serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Here are four things to know about her:
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1. She is a Christian
Jackson has been open about her faith, saying her trust in God has helped her in moments of despair and helped her in her career and life. "God knows what lies ahead of each of us. The best that you can do, as you look forward, is to take the long view," she said in a 2011 speech. Most recently, during her opening remarks at this week's hearings, she asserted that she had "come this far by faith."
According to an anonymous source to ABC News, Jackson identifies as a Protestant Christian. She will be the second Protestant justice on the Supreme Court if she is confirmed. Six of the justices are Catholic, and Justice Elena Kagan is Jewish.
2. She served on the advisory board for a private Baptist high school
From 2010 to 2011, Jackson served on the advisory board for Montrose Christian School, a private, Baptist high school in Rockville, Maryland. According to ABC News, she was in a fundraising role for the school. The private school eventually shuttered in 2013.
However, she also said in hearings that her role at the school was not an endorsement nor espousing of the school's beliefs. "I've served on so many boards, and I don't necessarily agree with all of the statements, of all of the things that those boards might have in their materials," she said.
"Any personal views about religion would never come into my service as a judge," she added.
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3. She's received support from some religious leaders
Activist and pastor Rev. Al Sharpton tweeted that he thought Jackson was "exceptionally well qualified" and had the "experience, character, integrity and dedication to the Constitution and the rule of law to serve on the nation's highest Court." In a published statement, some 10 members of the Evangelicals for Jackson said she "acts justly and loves mercy," referring to Michah 6:8. "Judge Jackson has lived this core tenant of our faith." The letter was signed by key evangelicals from organizations and churches such as Fuller Theological Seminary, The Wesleyan Church and Skinner Leadership Institute. The complete list is available here.
Rev. Al Sharpton, NAN Vice Chair Jennifer Jones Austin @PureJoyJJA, and Senior Vice President of Policy & Strategic Partnerships @ebonie__riley Release Statement on the Supreme Court Justice Nomination of U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson pic.twitter.com/fmzNsKjIll— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) February 25, 2022
Also, just before the hearings, members of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. rallied in D.C. in support of Jackson.
4. She has not made any specific rulings in her career about abortion rights
Jackson may have to answer questions about her opinions on abortion rights since she has yet to issue any detailed opinions on the issue during her time as a judge. In one case as a district court judge, however, she did rule to stop President Donald Trump's administration's attempt to block federal funding for Planned Parenthood. As a private attorney, she wrote in an amicus brief that she supported a Massachusetts clinic's buffer zone law, a law that sets a specific area where activists can demonstrate outside abortion clinics.
In a Twitter post, March for Life said they hope Jackson is not confirmed in the role.
"March for Life opposes President Biden's anticipated nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court based on her record of judicial activism," the pro-life group said in a statement. "We expect her to be a reliable vote for the far left and the Biden administration's radical abortion agenda."
5. She is married and has two daughters
Jackson is married to Patrick Jackson, a general surgeon at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. The pair married in 1996 after meeting at Harvard and have two daughters together: Talia, 21, and Leila, 17.
According to the National Catholic Register, Jackson's father was also an attorney. Her mother worked as a high school principal. Her younger brother worked for the Baltimore police and served in the U.S. Army, including in Iraq, before also becoming a lawyer.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.