7 things to know about Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's health policies

The Supreme Court nomination process of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson began March 21, The New York Times reported.  

After Justice Stephen Breyer announced plans to step down from the position, President Joe Biden nominated Ms. Jackson for the role. The 51-year-old judge is appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, and, if confirmed, would be the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

President Biden nominated Ms. Jackson because of her commitment to equal justice under the law and understanding of the profound impact the Supreme Court's decisions have on Americans, according to a White House news release.  

Seven things to know about Ms. Jackson's healthcare-related policies:

1. Ms. Jackson has a limited history of rulings or work on health issues, according to The Washington Post.

2. The biggest clue to her ideologies is that she was nominated by a Democratic president who has publicly committed to appointing judges that "respect foundational precedents like Roe [v. Wade]," according to the Post.  

"People are making the assumption that because President Biden nominated her, and because progressive organizations like NARAL and Planned Parenthood support her, they are probably taking that as a better proxy than the handful of actual data points we have," Mary Ziegler, professor at Tallahassee-based Florida State University College of Law, told the Post.

3. Ms. Jackson has expertise on drug sentencing, spending four years on the bipartisan U.S. Sentencing Commission and rewriting guidelines to reduce recommended penalties for drug-related offenses.

4. As a law firm associate, Ms. Jackson co-authored a 2001 amicus brief supporting a Massachusetts law that created a "buffer zone" for individuals entering abortion clinics.

5. As a district judge in 2018, she ruled against early termination of several federal grants under the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. Experts told the Post that her ruling wasn't focused on the content of the grants, but instead administrative law.

6. She ruled in favor of Massachusetts hospitals that had challenged how HHS determined Medicare disproportionate share hospital payments, Katie Keith and Andrew Twinamatsiko of the Health Policy and the Law Initiative at Washington, D.C.-based Georgetown Law's O'Neill Institute, told the Post.

7. Ms. Jackson was part of the 2021 three-judge panel that extended the CDC's pandemic-related eviction moratorium.

"There's not a lot to go on here, in part because she's just very consistent at applying current law," Ms. Keith said. "It's one of the reasons she has the respect and support that she has."

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