Florida leaders react to Ketanji Brown Jackson nomination to Supreme Court
Image via AP.

Ketanji Brown Jackson3
Florida woman nominated for high court.

President Joe Biden on Friday nominated federal appeals court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson — a Florida woman — to the Supreme Court, delivering on his promise to nominate a Black woman to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

A White House press note confirming the nomination described Jackson — who also boasts experience as a federal district court judge, member of the United States Sentencing Commission, attorney in private practice and public defender — as “an exceptionally qualified nominee as well as a historic nominee.”

Biden said on Twitter Jackson “is one of our nation’s brightest legal minds and will be an exceptional Justice.”

If confirmed, she will be the first Black woman to serve on the highest court in the land.

Florida political leaders were swift in responding to news of Jackson’s nomination.

U.S. Rep. Val Demings described Jackson as “exceptionally qualified” for the job, noting her “spectacular record, impeccable credentials, and her perspective as a fellow Floridian,” which will be “a breath of fresh air on the Court.”

“In the coming years, the Supreme Court is likely to hear cases that may determine the long-term direction of American life, and the safety and constitutional rights of every American,” Demings said.

“Judge Jackson has demonstrated throughout her career that she will be impartial, meticulous, and will put the law and Constitution first in every case. In less partisan times she is the kind of nominee who might have been confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. I expect every member of the Senate to give Judge Jackson full and fair consideration. This remarkable Floridian should be confirmed without delay.”

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, who earlier this month endorsed Jackson for the nomination, said emphatically: “THIS is Black history.”

“For many years, I have had the privilege of witnessing Ketanji Brown Jackson’s greatness as a judge,” she said. “Now, the entire nation will see for itself.”

It’s past time the nation’s top court resembles America, said U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, who called Jackson “a proven leader with a long qualified history in our justice system.”

“Floridians are proud to have a South Florida native selected!” he said.

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto said he was “thrilled” to support Jackson, adding: “She’ll protect justice for ALL Americans.”

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said there is “no better choice” than Jackson, a fellow graduate of her alma mater, Miami Palmetto Senior High.

“Her appointment is historic and she will bring a wealth of experience to our highest court and the federal judicial system,” Fried said. “Ms. Brown Jackson will bring a much-needed perspective to the Court as a Black woman, a former public defender, and a public school graduate. I’m proud to support her nomination.”

Jackson’s nomination is “well-deserved,” Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book said.

“A former public defender, (Barack) Obama-era criminal justice policymaker, and expert on sentencing, Jackson has rich experience in both law and life. She is a justice of the people, by the people, for the people — and I look forward to her confirmation.”

Sen. Gary Farmer said he is “very proud” to see Jackson be nominated and that he hopes the U.S. Senate moves swiftly to confirm her.

“As a former public defender, she will bring a much needed perspective to the court,” he said.

Many crazy things come out of Florida, Sen. Shevrin Jones said, but Jackson isn’t one of them.

“She’s a Floridian that’s qualified, accomplished and the right choice,” he said, adding later: “Miami-Dade is incredibly proud to call her one of our brightest and best, and I’m confident she will inspire young people across the country to dream big dreams and accomplish great things for many years to come.”

State Sen. Annette Taddeo called Jackson “eminently qualified” and someone who will bring “much-needed lived and professional experience to the court.”

“Ketanji Brown Jackson is an excellent, historic nominee for our highest court,” she said.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava expressed “great hometown pride” in supporting Jackson’s nomination, citing her “unparalleled experience and inspiring personal narrative” as making her “uniquely qualified” to “deliver fair and impartial rulings on our country’s most challenging issues.”

Jackson, she said, is “among the most experienced judges to be considered (for the Supreme Court) in recent memory.”

“Now, more than ever, we need jurists of her caliber and dedication,” she said.

“Most importantly, her understanding of our justice system is intimately personal. Judge Brown Jackson has family on both sides of the criminal justice system, with one uncle who served as a Miami city police chief and another who served time in jail. Our future generations deserve a Supreme Court Justice they can look up to. It is with whole-hearted admiration and respect for Judge Brown Jackson’s skill, prudence and overwhelming legal expertise that I support her nomination to the high bourt.”

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez offered congratulations and also noted Jackson’s local pedigree.

“As an alumna of Palmetto High, and the niece of a former Miami Police Chief, Calvin Ross, this is a testament to this family’s commitment to public service,” he said.

It is “a momentous day” in Miami-Dade, County Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins said.

“Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson could be green (and) I would still beam with pride!” she said. “Not only is she a Miami-raised woman, Harvard grad, judge (and) product of (Miami-Dade County Public Schools, but) she’s from my side — the South Side,” she said. “Proud of this nomination (and) its impact on representation.”

Responding to comments by former Republican U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan supporting Jackson’s nomination — Ryan is related to Jackson by marriage — Miami-Dade Commissioner Kionne McGhee said: “More of this is what this great nation needs!”

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle called Jackson a “superstar.”

“Stellar legal career (and) highly respected jurist,” she said. “Well done!”

Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz said Jackson’s pending confirmation would mark “a major milestone in our nation’s history and a cause for celebration for everyone who believes that race and gender should not be barriers to success in this country.”

“Judge Jackson is truly one of us, and Floridians should have no doubt that she will use all of her experience and knowledge to stand up and protect our rights,” he said. “We strongly hope that Senate Republicans, including Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, will put partisan politics aside, recognize Judge Jackson’s stellar credentials, and move quickly to confirm her historic nomination.”

Pinecrest Council member Anna Hochkammer pointed out that several notable Palmetto alums have gone on to greatness, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and Jackson.

“Public schools must really be failing, right?” she joked.

Former U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell said: “Incredibly excited for President Biden’s nominee, a pride to our community. She grew up in Miami, graduated from Palmetto HS, Ketanji Brown Jackson is an incredibly accomplished attorney and judge who will bring legal wisdom and Justice to the courts.

“Congratulations, KBJ!”

Florida Politics editor and Miami Palmetto Senior High alum Rosanne Dunkelberger added, “Go Panthers!”

Staff Reports


  • Dick Thompson

    February 25, 2022 at 6:42 pm

    We know that Judge Jackson will be the first woman of African descent on the high court when confirmed.
    I also want to know if she will also be the first Floridian to serve there, and I cannot find out by googling. All that comes up is about something else, mostly the Florida Supreme Court, even though I distincly asked about the SCOTUS.

  • Judi

    February 25, 2022 at 8:16 pm

    Is this not “racist” being that POTUS stated he would appoint a black woman ….. and he did??

  • Robert Shiner

    February 26, 2022 at 9:44 am

    Congratulations Judge….I have to say it’s very troubling to me that our country is back to Black Vs White….You are an American and qualified and those should be the ONLY DESCRIPTIONS we need to know…..This is still the greatest country in the world and the black community is very instrumental in its greatness…History is just that, let’s move forward and continue to create more history WITHOUT belaboring what’s gone before…..

Comments are closed.


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