Update (4/7/22): Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to become a Supreme Court Justice on Thursday April 7. The Senate voted in favor of confirming her with a 53-47 majority vote. Her two daughters were seen showing their support for her throughout the confirmation hearings. She will likely be sworn in at the end of June or beginning of July, per CNN.
Original: Ketanji Brown Jackson is getting closer to being confirmed as a Supreme Court judge after two more GOP senators have announced their vote. Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski and Utah Senator Mitt Romney will both vote to confirm Kentaji as a judge. Both Republican senators join Susan Collins of Maine, making it likely that their vote plus support from Democratic senators will be enough for her to win the position.
Ketanji may be President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee to replace Justice Stephen Breyer and the first Black woman to ever be nominated but she’s also a loving mom. She shares two daughters with her husband Patrick G. Jackson. Throughout the entire process, she has been sure to let her kids know how much they mean to her. “You are the light of my life. Please know that whatever title I may hold or whatever job I may have, I will still be your mom. That will never change,” she said when news of her nomination first broke in February.
During the first day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing on March 22, she spoke directly to her daughters (via CNN). “Girls, I know it has not been easy as I have tried to navigate the challenges of juggling my career and motherhood,” she said lovingly. “And I fully admit that I did not always get the balance right. But I hope that you have seen that with hard work, determination, and love, it can be done.” Here’s everything you need to know about the two young ladies who hold a very special place in Ketanji’s heart.
Talia Jackson is Ketanji’s oldest daughter. At 21 years old, Talia is currently in college but was able to take time to support her mother as she was present on the first day of Kentaji’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing. She kept it classy wearing a black floral print dress as she watched her mother speak. Ketanji’s address in today’s hearing wasn’t the first time she has directly addressed being a parent to her two girls.
Ketanji spoke at the 35th Edith House Lecture in 2017 where she not only called her daughters “sassy sisters” but opened up with the struggles she had raising her eldest, Talia, while starting a new job at a form. “The firm was very supportive, but I don’t think it is possible to overstate the degree of difficulty that many young women and especially new mothers face in the law firm context,” she explained. “The hours are long. The workflow is unpredictable. You have little control over your time and your schedule, and you start to feel as though the demands of the billable hour are constantly in conflict with the needs of your children and your family responsibilities.”
Leila Jackson is Ketanji’s youngest daughter. At just 17 years old, she has proved that she has plenty of ambition. She rocked a lavender suit as she sat beside her big sister during their mom’s hearing. The teenager has envisioned this day for a long time now. When she was 11 years old, she wrote a letter to Barack Obama, as per Heavy, requesting that “while you are considering judges to fill Justice Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court, I would like to add my mother Ketanji Brown Jackson of the district court to the list.”
She listed many positive attributes while describing her mom, writing that Ketanji is “determined, honest and never breaks a promise to anyone” and that she can “demonstrate commitment, and is loyal and never brags.” The teenager clearly has a knack for writing. Not only did she write such an articulate letter at just 11 years old but she also won the Parkmount Poetry Contest in 2021 for her poem “Pink Sundress” which you can read here.
The contest also implored about what her dreams for the future included. In wisdom beyond her years, she wrote, “I want to spend my life doing something I love and I want to be as happy as I can, as often as I can.” She also gave a shout-out to her parents as her biggest inspiration. “My parents are my biggest inspiration because of how far they’ve come, how hard they work, and the sacrifices they consistently make for me and our family,” she wrote.