Miami native foreshadows dreams of Supreme Court appointment in school yearbook

Miami native Ketanji Brown Jackson s considered a front runner to replace the retiring judge.

PINECREST, Fla. – In the 1988 yearbook for Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Ketanji Brown-Jackson looks into the future.

She writes: “I want to go into law and eventually have a judicial appointment.” She was Ketanji Brown then.

In the last 24 hours since the announcement of the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, there’s been a buzz around President Joe Biden’s promise to make good on naming a Black woman to the Court for the first time.

One of the frontrunners on that list is the 51-year-old Miami native and graduate of Miami Palmetto Senior High School.

She went on to receive a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1996, where she served as a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. She received an A.B., magna cum laude, in Government from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1992.

FILE - In this Wednesday, April 28, 2021, file photo, Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending judicial nominations, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP, File) (2020 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.)

From 2013 until 2021, Brown-Jackson served as a United States District Judge, and until December of 2014, she also served as a Vice Chair and Commissioner on the United States Sentencing Commission.

In 2021, Biden appointed her to a circuit court seat for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

She has been married to husband, Patrick G. Jackson, a physician and surgeon at Georgetown University Hospital, since 1996.

Victoria Dobbs, principal of Miami Palmetto Senior High School said she speaks for the school when she says they couldn’t be prouder.

“When we started hearing about it last night and started seeing all the articles and everything that came out makes you really proud.”

Dobbs said that hearing of alumni’s major accomplishments after they graduate is inspiring for students.

“They feel like their potential could be met. Like they are going to really succeed, so they are excited about it.”

Student Alex James agrees: “It’s so cool that I’m learning some of the same things that she’s learning and how we could all have such an impact on the future.”

In high school, Brown-Jackson served as class president, played chess, and was a repeat debate team national champion.

A woman who graduated from Miami Palmetto Senior High School could become the first Black woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court.

About the Authors:

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.