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Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's Dad On US Supreme Court Nomination: 'It's Exciting, Exhilarating And Humbling'

WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) -- President Joe Biden has nominated federal appeals court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Brown Jackson has deep roots in South Florida where she attended Miami Palmetto Senior High and where she was class president in 1988 and went on to Harvard as an undergrad and later attended Harvard Law school.

Brown Jackson acknowledged her parents during her remarks at the White House Friday.

"My mother and father who have been married 54 years I know couldn't be more proud," she said.

Her parents Ellery and Johnny Brown were Miami educators.

CBS News Miami reporter Joan Murray spoke to them about the nomination at their home in Cutler Bay Friday afternoon.

"She's a wonderful daughter and a great nominee for this position," said her mother Ellery Brown.

Brown Jackson credits her father with inspiring her to become a lawyer.

"It was my father who started me on this path as a child. My father made the fateful decision to transition from his job as a high school history teacher and go to law school" she said.

"She is exactly right. We sat at the dining room table. Me studying and her doing her thing with her coloring books and playing around," said her father Johnny Brown.

He would go on to become the attorney for the Miami-Dade School Board.

Brown Jackson's mother, Ellery Brown was principal at New World School of the Arts in Miami.

"This is something she aspired to and will be good for the court," said Ellery Brown.

But first, she has to be confirmed by the United States Senate.

With Republicans and Democrats each controlling 50 seats in the Senate and Vice President Kamala Harris casting tie-breaking votes, Jackson will need support from all 50 Democrats — if GOP senators oppose her nomination — in order to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, which she is expected to receive.

The pace of the confirmation process for Jackson is expected to be similar to that of Justice Amy Coney Barrett, whose nomination to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020 was approved by the GOP-controlled Senate in less than 30 days.

If confirmed, she will be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court and fill the seat that will be vacated by Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires at the end of the term.

In selecting Jackson, Biden delivers on a campaign promise to further diversify the high court.

Jackson is an attorney who possesses the type of elite legal background found in other high court justices, but who's worked as a public defender.

Jackson, 51, who was born in Washington D.C., was a star student at Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Pinecrest. She was on the debate team, student body president, and a Silver Knight Award nominee. When she was a senior, she expressed an interest in becoming a judge.

"I want to go into law and eventually have a judicial appointment," she wrote in her yearbook.

"It is with great hometown pride that I support Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. Her unparalleled experience and inspiring personal narrative will make her a uniquely qualified nominee to serve on the highest court in our nation and to deliver fair and impartial rulings on our county's most challenging issues," said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a statement.

"We are so proud that Judge Brown Jackson's roots run deep here in Miami-Dade. A product of our Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Judge Brown Jackson has long been recognized by her peers, her mentors, and the legal community as a jurist of the utmost integrity."

President Joe Biden selected Jackson to replace Attorney General Merrick Garland on the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, considered to be the nation's second most powerful court, in March 2021, and she was confirmed by the Senate in June.

Before joining the D.C. Circuit, Jackson was a U.S. district judge in the District of Columbia and vice-chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. At her confirmation hearing to the federal district court, Jackson was introduced by then-Congressman Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin who would go on to serve as House speaker before retiring in 2018. Ryan and Jackson are related by marriage.

Jackson also worked as an assistant special counsel for the sentencing panel for two years, followed by two years as an assistant federal public defender. The judge has been hailed for her work as a former public defender, as judicial groups argue there is a dearth of professional diversity on the federal bench.

Her uncle is retired city of Miami police chief Calvin Ross.

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