Is Ketanji Brown Jackson Related to Paul Ryan?

ketanji brown jackson paul ryan

Getty Ketanji Brown Jackson and Paul and Janna Ryan.

Joe Biden’s new Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson is related by marriage to former House Speaker Paul Ryan through her husband and Ryan’s wife, Janna Little Ryan.

That family tree factoid emerged after President Joe Biden nominated Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a 2017 speech, Jackson confirmed, “I am related by marriage to House Speaker Paul Ryan.”

Biden wrote on Twitter on February 25, 2022, “I’m proud to announce that I am nominating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court. Currently serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, she is one of our nation’s brightest legal minds and will be an exceptional Justice.”

Here’s what you need to know about Brown Jackson’s ties to Paul Ryan:

Brown Jackson’s Husband’s Twin Brother Is Married to Paul Ryan’s Wife’s Sister

GettyU.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and wife Janna Ryan arrive for the state dinner in honor of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and wife Akie Abe April 28, 2015.

According to The Miami Herald, Jackson is married to Patrick Graves Jackson, a surgeon. The New York Times reports that, “In 1996, she earned her law degree and married Dr. Jackson. They now have two daughters, Talia, 21, and Leila, 17.”

According to Medstar Health, Patrick is a surgeon working at Pasquerilla Healthcare Center in Washington, D.C.

SCOTUS blog confirmed, Brown Jackson “is related by marriage to Congressman (and former Speaker of the House) Paul Ryan.”

According to NBC News, the judge’s “husband’s twin brother is the married to the sister of Ryan’s wife.” His twin brother is named William Covington Jackson, who works as a lawyer.

You can see a photo of Janna Little Ryan’s younger sister Dana Little Jackson here. According to the Oklahoman, Dana Little Jackson is Janna’s younger sister.

In that article, Dana Jackson described how her sister kept a family vacation when her husband was chosen as a vice presidential nominee, saying, “It was a place where there was no television, no telephones and limited cellphone coverage.” Dana Jackson is an attorney and a Wellesley graduate.

The Little sisters’ parents were Prudence, who “went to Wellesley and graduated first in the 1968 University of Oklahoma law school class that included her husband, Dan…”

Paul Ryan Praised ‘Ketanji’s Intellect’ & Her Character

patrick graves jackson

MedHealth, GettyDr. Patrick G. Jackson and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Paul Ryan, a Republican, said his politics differs from Brown Jackson’s, but praised her in effusive terms.

“Our politics may differ, but my praise for Ketanji’s intellect, for her character, for her integrity, is unequivocal. She is an amazing person,” Paul Ryan said previously, according to NBC News.

According to NPR, Jackson’s parents were public school teachers who became a lawyer and a school principal. Brown Jackson went to Harvard College, and that’s where she met her husband.

He was her first “serious boyfriend,” according to NPR.

“Patrick is a quintessential ‘Boston Brahmin’ — his family can be traced back to England before the Mayflower,” she said in 2017, according to NPR. “He and his twin brother are, in fact, the sixth generation in their family to graduate from Harvard College. By contrast, I am only the second generation in my family to go to any college, and I am fairly certain that if you traced my family lineage back past my grandparents — who were raised in Georgia, by the way — you would find that my ancestors were slaves on both sides.”

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