Meghan Markle on Ketanji Brown Jackson as Supreme Court Justice

Meghan gets political (again)! Duchess weighs in on Biden’s pick of black female  Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court and says she ‘opens new ground for representation’ – after sparking fury by wading into US politics

  • Meghan Markle, 40, gave thoughts on nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson
  • The Duchess of Sussex said it ‘opened new ground for women’s representation’
  • Mother-of-two has been increasingly vocal about politics in the US since Megxit 
  • Came under fire last year for using title to urge senators to vote for paid leave 
  • Latest intervention heightens speculation she sees herself in politics in future 

The Duchess of Sussex has weighed in on President Joe Biden’s pick of Ketanji Brown Jackson as Supreme Court Justice – after facing calls she should be stripped of her royal title for meddling in US politics.

Meghan Markle, 40, who is currently living in her $14 million mansion in California, has been increasingly vocal about politics in the US having stepped back from royal duty last year. 

Over the weekend, the mother-of-two spoke to Anita Hill for URL media about the nomination of Judge Jackson, saying: ‘Judge Jackson’s nomination has opened new ground for women’s representation at the highest level of a judicial system that for too long has tilted against the very community she hails from.

‘For the millions of young women who will rightfully find inspiration from this moment, let’s remind ourselves that Black achievement is something that exists not just today or yesterday, and not just in moments of celebration, but as a fabric woven into the entire chronicle of the American story.’ 

Anita said the pair had ‘recently connected’ and said there was ‘a measure of parallelism given her experience navigating uncharted territory as a Black woman.’ 

The duchess’s latest intervention heightens speculation that she sees herself in a political position in the future, like her heroines Angelina Jolie and Amal Clooney. 

The Duchess of Sussex, 40, has weighed in with her opinion of President Joe Biden’s pick of Ketanji Brown Jackson as Supreme Court Justice – after facing calls she should be stripped of her royal title for meddling in US politics

Over the weekend, the mother-of-two spoke to Anita Hill about the nomination of Judge Jackson by President Biden 

It is not the first time the Duchess has weighed in on politics in the US.

Last year, she made a series of calls for compulsory paid family leave in the US, including in her first major TV appearance since her notorious tell-all with Oprah Winfrey.

In a soft-soap interview with chat show host Ellen DeGeneres in November, Meghan told her close friend she would do ‘everything’ in her power to change US policy for millions of Americans.

The duchess also caused controversy by cold-calling US senators on their private phones and using her royal title to urge them to vote in favour of paid leave. Previously she wrote a letter to the US Congress asking them to considering making paid leave law.

Sources previously said the Duchess was eyeing 2024, when President Joe Biden will be 82 and deciding whether he wants to run for a second term

Republican Representative Jason Smith of Missouri condemned Meghan for interfering in American politics, and even suggested she should be stripped of her title to stop her using it to gain political leverage.

Meghan told The Ellen Show: ‘I think that people truly forget, or don’t even know that in this country, it’s one of the only six countries in the entire world and the only wealthy nation in the entire world that does not mandate and have a federal paid leave programme.

‘Everybody knows, especially if you have had a child and even if you haven’t, you know how hard it is and how critical it is in those first few weeks if not months to be together as a family.

‘And the fact that we don’t offer that here is something that now as a mom of two, I will do everything that I can to make sure that we can implement that for people.’ 

Last year, she made a series of calls for compulsory paid family leave in the US, including in her first major TV appearance since her notorious tell-all with Oprah Winfrey

Meghan previously insisted she is not playing politics by calling for paid family leave for all, which she says is a ‘humanitarian issue’, during an appearance at the New York Times DealBook summit.

Speaking to Andrew Sorkin, who edits DealBook, the Times’ financial newsletter, and appeared alongside Mellody Hobson, co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based investment firm, she said: ‘I don’t see this as a political issue frankly.

‘There is a precedent among my husband’s family, the royal family, of not having any involvement in politics. From my standpoint, this is a humanitarian issue.’ 

In a October 20 letter to US congressmen Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, Meghan wrote: ‘I’m not an elected official, and I’m not a politician. I’m writing to you at this deeply important time – as a mom – to advocate for paid leave.’

The extraordinary 1,030-word letter asked the two Democratic leaders to consider her plea ‘on behalf of my family, Archie and Lili and Harry’.

The duchess depicted humble beginnings, saying that her family struggled when she was young – despite her well-documented middle class upbringing in which she attended private primary and secondary schools on her Emmy award-winning lighting director father’s $200,000-a-year salary. 

Markle, pictured above with Prince Harry and her first born Archie, made a rare political statement last year 

And last year, rumours circulating in Westminster suggested  Meghan planned to use the furore over her interview with Oprah to launch a political career which could take her all the way to the White House.

One senior Labour figure – a veteran of Tony Blair’s Downing Street administration with strong links to Washington – claimed to The Mail on Sunday that Meghan was networking among senior Democrats with a view to building a campaign and fundraising teams for a tilt at the US Presidency.

A source close to the Duchess declined to comment, but the couple have made little secret of their political beliefs.

During the US election she and Prince Harry levelled a thinly veiled attack on Donald Trump by urging voters to ‘reject hate speech’, which a spokesperson for the couple described as ‘a call for decency’. Trump himself declared that he was ‘not a fan’ of Meghan.

And, a friend of the Duchess told Vanity Fair magazine that one of the reasons she did not give up her American citizenship when she married into the Royal Family was to allow her to keep open the option of entering Washington politics.

US constitutional experts responded that she would have to renounce her title if she wanted to hold public office in the States, because it would cut across the US oath of allegiance.

Buckingham Palace tried to distance the Royal Family from the remarks made during the US election by issuing a statement saying that ‘the Duke is not a working member of the Royal Family’ and describing his comments as ‘made in a personal capacity’.

President Joe Biden on Friday nominated federal judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, making her the first black woman selected to serve on the bench

Biden shakes hands with Jackson after announcing her nomination to the Supreme Court

The source added that the presumption was that the Duchess was eyeing 2024, when President Joe Biden will be 82 and deciding whether he wants to run for a second term.

Meghan’s friends have previously encouraged speculation about her political ambitions – describing her rise from modest beginnings as ‘the embodiment of the American dream’.

Her latest comments come as President Biden said he nominated Judge Jackson to unite the country despite being accused of undermining her professional achievements by announcing his nominee had to be a black woman.

Speaking to online interviewer Brian Tyler Cohen on Saturday, Biden listed his reasons for nominating Jackson, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

‘Number one, I committed, two years ago, that if I got elected president, I would name, if I had an opportunity, I would name the first African-American woman to the Supreme Court because I think the court should look like the country,’ he said.

‘The point is that I want to bring the country together.’

Despite his hopes, Biden has received criticism for basing his decision off race and sex, with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham saying Jackson’s nomination ‘means the radical left has won President Biden over yet again.’

When asked to comment about Graham’s statement, Biden lamented that the nation was being split by politics.

‘Unfortunately, we’ve become so politicized in this country,’ he said. ‘I wish it would be a different Lindsey used to be a close friend.

‘I just wish they’d give it a chance. There’s no basis for that assertion. But. It’s what it is.’

In his push for her nomination, Biden pointed to Jackson’s unique qualifications – she would be the high court’s first former public defender – and that she has been previously confirmed by the Senate for the federal bench, garnering Republican votes in the Senate for that position.

‘She served both in public service as a federal public defender, a federal public defender and in private law practice as an accomplished lawyer with a prestigious law firm,’ the president said on Friday.

Yet despite her impressive qualifications, many believed the nomination process was tainted by Biden’s vow two years ago and that it undermined Jackson’s extensive career.

Former presidential candidate Ben Carson said he was disappointed with the process and what it would mean for Jackson.

‘People will assume that she got the position because of her color and not because of her qualifications,’ Carson told the Daily Signal. ‘That may not be the case, but that will be a natural assumption.’

A Twitter user with the handle name Carpet Braggers wrote echoed Carson’s sentiments, writing, ‘Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be a diversity hire if she is confirmed.

‘POTUS nominated her first and foremost because of the color of her skin rather than her qualifications. Her tenure will always be tainted with this fact.’

How Harvard-educated Ketanji Brown rose from a public defender to the nation’s highest court and helped prisoners seek early release for crack cocaine crimes

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is President Biden’s nominee for Supreme Court

Ketanji Brown Jackson, the federal appeals court judge who President Joe Biden is poised to nominate to become the first Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, brings a diverse set of experiences to the bench, including a stint representing low-income criminal defendants.

Jackson, 51, who Biden last year appointed to an influential Washington-based appellate court, served early in her career as a Supreme Court clerk for Justice Stephen Breyer, whose retirement announced in January opens up a vacancy on the nation’s top judicial body.

As a member of the federal judiciary, Jackson has earned respect from liberals and conservatives alike and is well-connected in the close-knit Washington legal community. Progressives favored her nomination over the other leading candidates: South Carolina-based U.S. District Court judge J. Michelle Childs and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.

The Senate voted 53-44 in June last year to confirm Jackson as a member of the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In her short time on the appeals court, she has authored two majority opinions, including one in favor of public sector unions challenging a regulation issued during Republican former President Donald Trump’s administration that restricted their bargaining power.

She was part of a three-judge panel that ruled in December against Trump’s bid to prevent White House records from being handed over to the House of Representatives committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters. The Supreme Court on Jan. 20 declined to block that decision.

Jackson also was part of a three-judge panel that refused last August to block the Biden administration’s COVID-19 pandemic-related residential eviction moratorium, a decision that was later overturned by the Supreme Court.


Jackson previously won Senate confirmation in 2013 after Democratic former President Barack Obama nominated her as a Washington-based federal district judge. In her eight years in that role, she handled a number of high-profile cases including one in which she ruled that Trump’s one-time chief White House lawyer, Donald McGahn, had to comply with a congressional subpoena for testimony about potential Trump obstruction of a special counsel investigation.

‘The primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings,’ Jackson wrote.

The ruling was appealed and, after Biden took office, a settlement was reached. McGahn testified behind closed doors.

he Honorable Sri Srinivasan, left, the Honorable Judge David Tatel who sit on U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, center, and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who sits on U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia walk into a ceremonial courtroom of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

In other decisions, Jackson in 2019 blocked Trump’s plan to expedite removal of certain immigrants and in 2018 ruled against his administration’s proposal to make it easier to fire federal employees – decisions later reversed by the appellate court on which she now serves.

Biden had pledged during the 2020 presidential election campaign to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court. It has had only two Black justices, both men: Clarence Thomas, appointed in 1991 and still serving, and Thurgood Marshall, who retired in 1991 and died in 1993.

During her April 2021 confirmation hearing for her current job, Jackson said her background, both personal and professional, would ‘bring value’ to the bench, though she rejected suggestions by Republican senators that race could affect her rulings.

‘I’ve experienced life in perhaps a different way than some of my colleagues because of who I am,’ Jackson said.

Three Republican senators joined Biden’s fellow Democrats in voting to confirm Jackson.

Jackson would become the sixth woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court, joining current members Amy Coney Barrett, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, the retired Sandra Day O’Connor and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


Biden has sought to bring more women and minorities and a broader range of backgrounds to a federal judiciary dominated by jurists who had been corporate lawyers or prosecutors.

Jackson was raised in Miami and attended Harvard University, where she once shared a scene in a drama class with future Hollywood star Matt Damon, before graduating from Harvard Law School in 1996.

Jackson in 2017 described herself as a ‘professional vagabond’ earlier in her legal career, moving from job to job as she sought a work-life balance while raising a family. She and husband Patrick Jackson, a surgeon, have two daughters.

She worked from 2005 to 2007 as a court-appointed lawyer paid by the government to represent criminal defendants who could not afford counsel. Among her clients was Khi Ali Gul, an Afghan detainee at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The United States sent him back to Afghanistan in 2014 when she was no longer involved in the case.

Jackson worked from 2002 to 2004 for Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer known for overseeing compensation programs including one for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

She also had two separate stints at the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which issues guidance to judges on criminal sentencing, including a four year stint starting in 2010 as the Senate-confirmed vice chair.

Jackson in 2020 paid tribute to Breyer during a virtual conference in which they both participated, saying he ‘opened doors of opportunities’ not just through his judicial decisions but also by hiring a diverse group of law clerks.

‘As a descendant of slaves,’ Jackson added, ‘let me just say that, Justice (Breyer), your thoughtfulness in that regard has made a world of difference.’

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is married to a Washington D.C. surgeon and has two kids


Jackson has personal experience with the federal system.

Her distant uncle, Thomas Brown Jr., was serving a life sentence in Florida for a nonviolent drug crime. He wrote to her asking for help with his case.

He was sentenced to life under a ‘three strikes’ law. After a referral from Jackson, the powerhouse law firm Wilmer Hale took his case pro bono, and President Barack Obama years later commuted his sentence. 

When Obama appointed her to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, she helped rewrite guidelines to reduce recommended penalties for drug-related offenses.

Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., to two public school teachers, who moved her family to the Miami area when she was a child. 

Her parents, she said, named her ‘Ketanji Onyika’ to express pride in their African ancestry. Her father would later become an attorney with the Miami-Dade County School Board and her mother a principal at a public magnet school.

She and her husband, Patrick Jackson, a surgeon at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, have two daughters.

She is related by marriage to former House Speaker Paul Ryan. Jackson’s husband is the twin brother of Ryan’s brother-in-law.

‘Janna and I are incredibly happy for Ketanji and her entire family,’ Ryan tweeted on Friday. ‘Our politics may differ, but my praise for Ketanji’s intellect, for her character, and for her integrity, is unequivocal.’ 

– Reuters and Associated Press 

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