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Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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New Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson -Interactive Notebook Activity


Supreme Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson 

In 2022, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson made history as the first African American female being confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. There have been 115 Supreme Court justices as of 2021! Justice Jackson becomes only the 6th woman to become a Supreme Court Justice. It is also the FIRST time there will be FOUR women, out of the nine justices, on the Supreme Court

  1. As a girl, Ketanji, developed a love of law as she sat next to her dad who was studying his law school assignments.
  1. In high school, Ketanji participated in the debate and speech clubs. She was named “most likely to succeed” by her classmates.
  1. Ketanji’s parents wanted to give their daughter an African name to honor their ancestry. Ketanji Onyika  means “lovely one”.
  1. She didn’t let a high school guidance counselor stop her from her goal of going to Harvard. He had suggested she not set her goals so high.
  1. In college, Ketanji, enjoyed drama and performed with a group called , On Thin Ice.
  1. For a time, Ketanji Brown Jackson clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. It is Breyer’s retirement which opened up a seat on the Supreme Court for which President Joe Biden nominated Judge Jackson.

Did You Know? 

1. There is an indoor basketball court at the Supreme Court Building. It is called the “Highest Court in the Land” and is located on the fifth floor.

2. Since 1969, there have been 9 justices on the Supreme Court. However, Congress can change this number to be more or less justices.

3. Justice Clarence Thomas has a record for being the only Supreme Court Justice to remain totally silence, not asking any questions or making any statement, on the bench, for seven years. Appointed to the Supreme Court in 1991, Thomas spoke, from the bench, for the first time in 2013. 

4.The Supreme Court is named for the Chief Justice. Currently, the Court is called “Roberts Court” after Chief Justice John Roberts.

5. Is a pickle a vegetable or a fruit? This was one of the decisions the Supreme Court determined in Nix v. Hedden. The court determined it is the seeds that classify the pickle as a “fruit of the vine”.

6. As a tribute to a Supreme Court justice who dies while on the bench, a black wool crepe is draped on that justice’s chair and bench in front of the chair. This tradition began in 1873 with the death of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase.

7. The only president to become a Supreme Court justice was William Howard Taft. He said he preferred his time as a Supreme Court justice to that of being President of the United States.

8. A frozen yogurt machine in the Supreme Court cafeteria was installed because of Justin Elena Kagan.

9. Did you know that white quill pens are placed on the lawyers’ desks during court sessions? They aren’t actually used any more but it is still the tradition.

10. SCOTUS is the acronym for the Supreme Court. It means Supreme  Court of the United States.


1. Have you ever been told by someone that you are setting a goal too high? If, not, how would you react if someone DID say that to you?

2.  What are two of your interests in school? What might you like to do as a career when you grow up?

3. In 2016, the Republican controlled Senate refused to allow President Obama to nominate a Supreme Court Justice when Judge Antonin Scalia died. The Republicans said with the election in 8 months, the NEXT president should made the nomination. In 2020, with 45 days before the Presidential Election, the Republican controlled Senate said they would allow the current President (Donald Trump) to make a nomination to the Supreme Court. Which decision do you think was correct?

4. Watching her dad study his law assignments, started an interest in law for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Is there someone that has helped to spark an interest in you? Who is it and what is the interest you have become interested in doing?

5. Is there any other profession that you think women still need to have more representation?


Possible Resources of Interest:

FREE Download: New Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson -Interactive Notebook Activity

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