Dr. Patrick Graves Jackson is the husband of Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson. Theirs is a long-term marriage that started in college and produced two children. Dr. Patrick Jackson has been sitting behind his wife during her Senate confirmation hearings after she was nominated by President Joe Biden to the U.S. Supreme Court.
According to The Miami Herald, Patrick Graves Jackson is a gastrointestinal surgeon and met his wife while they were both attending Harvard. The New York Times reported that “in 1996, she earned her law degree and married Dr. Jackson. They now have two daughters, Talia, 21, and Leila, 17.” The outlet reported that Jackson is currently a general surgeon at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, which includes a bio of Jackson on its website.
Ketanji Brown Jackson serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. According to NPR, she made President Barack Obama’s shortlist for U.S. Supreme Court in 2016.
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.”
As her husband watched along with his twin brother, William, at her confirmation hearing opening on March 21, 2022, Brown Jackson said, “Speaking of unconditional love, I’d like to introduce you to my husband of 25 years, Dr. Patrick Jackson. I have no doubt that without him by my side from the very beginning of this incredible professional journey, none of this would have been possible.”
She added, “We met in college more than three decades ago. Since then, he’s been the best husband, father and friend that I could ever imagine. Patrick, I love you.” Patrick Jackson grew emotional at the words.
Here’s what you need to know about Patrick Graves Jackson:
1. Patrick Graves Jackson, a Surgeon Specializing in Abdominal Surgeries, Called the Judge a ‘Brilliant & Compassionate Partner Who Still Takes My Breath Away’
Patrick Graves Jackson has a Twitter page, but the tweets are protected. His Twitter bio indicates he’s a professor at Georgetown.
A no-longer-visible tweet published on Jackson’s Twitter page in June 2021, according to The Associated Press, said, “Happy Loving Day! I am especially thankful to be walking through life with a brilliant and compassionate partner who still takes my breath away, made possible by sacrifices like Richard and Mildred Loving.”
According to Biography.com, “The monumental love story of Richard and Mildred Loving resulted in the landmark Supreme Court case that wiped away the last segregation laws in America.” The Lovings were arrested because of their interracial marriage. The Jacksons themselves are an interracial couple.
According to MedStar Health, Patrick is a surgeon working at Pasquerilla Healthcare Center in Washington, D.C.
His areas of practice, according to that site, include abdominal surgery, abdominal wall reconstruction, appendectomy, breast biopsy and cecostomy.
His critical areas of focus include gastroesophageal reflux surgery, hernia repair, incisional hernia, inguinal hernia repair, laparoscopic cholecystectomy, laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair, minimally invasive surgery and paraesophageal hernia, according to the site.
2. Jackson, Who Is Related Through Marriage to Former Congressman Paul Ryan, Graduated from Columbia University Medical School; His Wife Called Them an ‘Unlikely Pair’
The judge spoke extensively about her husband and their daughters in a 2017 speech, which you can watch above.
In that speech, she described the parenting style that she shares with her husband, saying that they teach their daughters to put work before play and to respect all people. She said her husband was pre-med and studied math in college, but she was going down a different career path.
“We were an unlikely pair in many respects, but somehow we found each other,” she said. They dated more than six years through college before they got married in 1996. In her speech, Ketanji Brown Jackson described the difficulties inherent in balancing work concerns with family and starting her legal career with a newborn.
“The firm was very supportive, but I don’t think it is possible to overstate the degree of difficulty that many young women and especially new mothers face in the law firm context,” she said in that speech.
MedStar Health indicates Patrick Graves Jackson received board certification from the American Board of Surgery, participated in a fellowship program at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2002, served in a residency program at Massachusetts General Hospital the same year, and graduated from medical school at Columbia University in 1995.
Jackson has a family tie to former House Speaker Paul Ryan’s family.
According to SCOTUS blog, Ketanji Brown Jackson “is related by marriage to Congressman (and former Speaker of the House) Paul Ryan.” She confirmed this in her 2017 speech, saying, “I am related by marriage to House Speaker Paul Ryan.”
“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, according to NBC News. Ryan’s wife Janna Ryan’s younger sister is Dana Little Jackson, according to The Oklahoman.
3. Patients Called Patrick Graves Jackson ‘Outstanding in Every Way’ in Reviews
More than 100 people have left reviews on the MedStar Health page for Patrick Graves Jackson.
The many positive reviews include:
“Dr. Jackson is outstanding in every way. I owe my life to him.”
“Great service and polite and very detailed.”
“Dr. Jackson took quite a lot of time to explain my problem and the procedure. Much appreciated his candor.”
“Listened attentively and addressed all questions and concerns thoroughly.”
“Dr. Jackson has one of the best bedside manners of any doctor I have ever seen. He is an expert in his field and his ease with explaining procedures, listening to the concerns of his patients and interacting with them makes it very easy to trust him.”
“Dr. Jackson is the best surgeon!! 2 other surgeons believed laparoscopic surgery would be impossible. BUT DR. JACKSON DID IT.”
There were a few bad reviews. “Med student didn’t listen and cut me off while I was talking. Very frustrating. I don’t think she briefed the doctor appropriately based on his questions. I didn’t feel like either took the time to listen to me or get to know me,” wrote one person.
“He’s an excellent surgeon, but he sometimes has a patronizing attitude. I had a particularly bad experience when I spoke with him post-op,” wrote another.
4. Jackson, Who Can Trace His Family Back to England Before the Mayflower, Was Ketanji Brown Jackson’s First ‘Serious Boyfriend’
According to NPR, Ketanji Brown Jackson’s parents “were public school teachers until her father became a lawyer, and her mother, eventually, a school principal.” Raised in Miami, she 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.
“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.”
5. Patrick Graves Jackson Used to Go to Court to Watch His Wife Work
According to NPR, Federal Judge Patti Saris, for whom Ketanji Brown Jackson clerked “straight out of law school,” said Jackson’s husband, as a surgical resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, “was so fascinated by his wife’s work he would often go to the courtroom after a long night on call to watch what was going on.”
At that time, he would look “incredibly scruffy” from being up more than 24 hours that a bailiff mistook him for a homeless man, NPR reported.
According to the outlet, the doctor is a “star in the surgical world today.”
In the 2017 speech, the judge also revealed that the couple’s daughter, Leila, wrote President Barack Obama a letter urging him to name her mother to the U.S. Supreme Court after Justice Antonin Scalia died. She said that some of her friends felt her mother should apply for that position, so she decided to write the president to “tell him who you are.”
“Dear Mr. President, while you are considering judges to fill Justice Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court, I would like to add my mother Ketanji Brown Jackson of the district court to the list,” the letter read, according to Jackson’s speech.
“I, her daughter Leila Jackson of 11 years old, strongly believe that she would be an excellent fit for the position. She is determined, honest and never breaks a promise to anyone, even if there are other things she’d rather do,” Jackson read from her daughter’s letter. “She can demonstrate commitment, and is loyal and never brags. I think she would make a great Supreme Court justice, even if the workload will be larger on the court or if you have other nominees. Please consider her aspects for the job. Thank you for listening.”