Press Releases

Ketanji Brown Jackson Qualifications for Supreme Court

The New York City Bar Association has concluded that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is Highly Qualified to be a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

The New York City Bar found that Judge Jackson’s record reflects a very thoughtful, detail-oriented, and temperate jurist free from partiality.  Her written opinions are well-organized, thoroughly researched, persuasive, and accessible, embodying judicial clarity and restraint while reflecting her command of a range of subjects and diverse tools of legal reasoning.  Judge Jackson’s colleagues confirm that she will have a strong ability to build consensus as part of a panel.  Her work demonstrates her understanding and appreciation of the role of the judiciary.  Widespread praise from Judge Jackson’s colleagues on and off the bench, as well as practitioners who appeared before her, focused on Judge Jackson’s respectful manner of communicating with others, thorough preparation, exceptional writing skills, ability to synthesize and convey complex legal issues with ease, and ideal judicial temperament. Judges appointed by both parties characterized Judge Jackson as objective, unbiased, fair, and humble, observing that she never appeared to reach conclusions based on a predetermined bias on any issue.

The New York City Bar determined that Judge Jackson possesses, to an exceptionally high degree, all of the qualifications enumerated in the Guidelines established by the City Bar for considering nominees to the Supreme Court of the United States: (1) exceptional legal ability; (2) extensive experience and knowledge of the law; (3) outstanding intellectual and analytical talents; (4) maturity of judgment and common sense; (5) unquestionable integrity and independence; and (6) a temperament appropriate to be a Justice of the Supreme Court.

The New York City Bar has been evaluating judicial candidates for 150 years in a non-partisan manner based upon the nominees’ competence and merit. Although the New York City Bar had evaluated a number of Supreme Court candidates over the course of its history, in 1987 it determined to evaluate every candidate nominated to the Supreme Court.

In 2007, the New York City Bar’s Board of Directors, formerly known as the Executive Committee, moved from a two-tier evaluation system in which Supreme Court candidates were found to be either “qualified” or “not qualified”, to a three-tier evaluation system. The ratings and the criteria that accompany them are as follows:

Qualified.” The nominee possesses the legal ability, experience, knowledge of the law, intellectual and analytical skills, maturity of judgment, common sense, sensitivity, honesty, integrity, independence, and temperament appropriate to be a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The nominee also respects precedent, the independence of the judiciary from the other branches of government, and individual rights and liberties.

Highly Qualified.” The nominee is qualified, to an exceptionally high degree, such that the nominee is likely to be an outstanding Justice of the United States Supreme Court. This rating should be regarded as an exception, and not the norm, for United States Supreme Court nominees.

Not Qualified.” The nominee fails to meet one or more of the qualifications above.

Note: To ensure the integrity of the ratings process, the New York City Bar Association cannot comment beyond what is provided in this release and the accompanying report: