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Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Daughters Are Gen Z’s Newest Public Figures

On March 21, the Senate began their four-day confirmation hearing of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court. Over the four-day questioning, which concluded on March 24, she and testifying witnesses fielded inquiries about Jackson’s record, reputation, and even her stance on critical race theory, in what the Guardian called a “political circus.”

While many Americans have dissected Jackson’s legal record and political opinions, less is known about her family and personal life. Ketanji Brown Jackson’s daughters, Talia and Leila, were in attendance at the hearing, along with her husband, Dr. Patrick Jackson. Jackson opened up about her life as a working mom, according to the Atlantic.

Speaking directly to her daughters during her opening statement, she said, “​​Girls, I know it has not been easy as I have tried to navigate the challenges of juggling my career and motherhood. And I fully admit that I did not always get the balance right. But I hope that you have seen that with hard work, determination, and love, it can be done.” If you’re curious to learn more about who her daughters are and what they’re like, here’s everything we know.

Ketanji Brown Jackson has two daughters, Talia and Leila.

According to Hollywood Life, Talia and Leila are 21 and 17 respectively, making them both members of Gen Z. Heavy reports that Talia is a current college student, though it is not publicly known where she attends school. Leila, meanwhile, is still in high school.

Jackson has always juggled raising Talia and Leila with work.

In 2017, Jackson gave a lecture at University of Georgia School of Law when she was a U.S. District Court Judge titled “Reflections on My Journey as a Mother and a Judge.” She spoke at length about her relationship with her daughters and her attempt to find a suitable work-life balance, even calling her daughters “sassy sisters” because of their outgoing behavior. She explained that Talia was born right after she started a new law firm job, which added another level of difficulty, but added, “I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunities that I’ve had in life.”

That message of love and hope has continued into 2022, with Jackson’s opening statements at the Senate hearing. She told her daughters, “I am so looking forward to seeing what each of you chooses to do with your amazing lives in this incredible country.”

Leila is one of Jackson’s biggest supporters.

Talia and Leila attended the confirmation hearing with their mother, but they have been supporting her in big ways for much longer — since their childhoods. During the hearing, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) revealed that when Leila was 11 years old, she wrote a letter to President Obama encouraging him to nominate Jackson for the Supreme Court because she would be “a great Supreme Court justice.” Booker added that he hoped this would become the norm rather than the exception for future young girls in America.

Leila has also called her parents her “biggest inspiration” when she was made a 2021 winner of the Parkmont Poetry Festival with her poem “Pink Sundress.” She acknowledged “how far they’ve come, how hard they work, and the sacrifices they consistently make for me and our family.”

Their father, Dr. Patrick Jackson, is a surgeon.

Dr. Patrick Jackson is a gastrointestinal surgeon and professor at Georgetown University who met Jackson at Harvard and married her in 1996, according to Town & Country. Jackson introduced him at the hearing as her husband of 25 years, calling him “the best husband, father, and friend I could ever imagine.”

He was seated with Talia and Leila during the hearing, right behind Jackson as loving supporters, and even became teary-eyed while watching Jackson on the podium. (He’s also made headlines for his colorful, patriotic socks.)

The sisters have impressive style.

Though there’s still not much known about Talia and Leila just yet, they did dress to impress at the hearing. According to Hollywood Life, Talia wore a black floral print dress, and Leila donned a pale purple pantsuit not unlike Jackson’s own cobalt blue outfit.

Erica Kam

Columbia Barnard '21

Erica is an Editor at Her Campus. She was formerly an Associate Editor (2021-22), Contributing Editor (2020-21), Wellness Editor (2019-20), High School Editor (2018-19), and Editorial Intern (2018). She graduated from Barnard College in 2021 with a degree in English and creative writing, and was the Senior Editor of Her Campus Columbia Barnard (2018-21). When she's not writing or editing (which is rare), she's probably looking at food pictures on Instagram.
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