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Former GOP Speaker Paul Ryan praises relative Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court

The conservative former House Speaker is related to Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nomination by marriage.

Eric Garcia
Friday 25 February 2022 18:39 GMT
Biden asked if Black female Supreme Court nominee pledge is 'affirmative action'

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan praised his distant relative Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson upon President Joe Biden nominating her to the Supreme Court.

Ms Jackson is married to surgeon Patrick Jackson, whose twin brother married Dana Little Jackson, Mr Ryan’s wife.

“Janna and I are incredibly happy for Ketanji and her entire family,” he tweeted. “Our politics may differ, but my praise for Ketanji's intellect, for her character, and for her integrity, is unequivocal.”

Mr Ryan introduced her during her confirmation hearing in 2013 during her confirmation to be a US District Judge.

The former Wisconsin congressman served in the House from 1999 to 2019 and as House Speaker from 2015 to 2019, when he retired from Congress. He also was Mitt Romney’s running mate when Mr Romney was the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. The Romney-Ryan ticket lost to Barack Obama and Mr Biden, who was then vice president.

Mr Biden announced Ms Jackson’s nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer after media reports said he would make the nomination by the end of the week.

“Judge Jackson is an exceptionally qualified nominee as well as an historic nominee, and the Senate should move forward with a fair and timely hearing and confirmation,” he said on Friday.

Ms Jackson was one of the three potential nominees, along with Judge J Michelle Childs, a US district court judge for District of South Carolina, and Leondra Kruger, an associate justice on California’s supreme court.

The nomination comes after Mr Breyer announced he would step down from the court at the end of last month. Mr Biden had pledged he would announce a nominee by the end of February.

The announcement comes ahead of Mr Biden’s first State of the Union address and as the Senate reconvenes after a brief recess. Mr Biden had pledged on the campaign trail to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, as a Black woman had never served on the bench.

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