Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson addressed for the first time her uncle, Thomas Brown, Jr., who received a life sentence for a drug offense.
“You may have read that I have one uncle who got caught up in the drug trade and received a life sentence. That is true,” Jackson said in her remarks at the White House as she thanked members of her family and detailed a personal narrative.
She continued, “But law enforcement also runs in my family. In addition to my brother, I had two uncles who served decades as police officers, one of whom became the police chief in my hometown of Miami, Florida.”
As CNN's Ariane de Vogue has reported, in 2008, when Jackson was in private practice and well before she became a judge, Jackson referred her uncle's file to WilmerHale, a law firm that handles numerous clemency petitions, according to a spokesperson for the firm.
The firm submitted the petition on Brown's behalf on Oct. 7, 2014, and former President Barack Obama commuted his sentence on Nov. 22, 2016. According to the firm, Jackson had "no further involvement in the matter" after making the referral. Jackson's chambers said she would decline comment on the issue.
“I am standing here today by the grace of God as testament to the love and support that I’ve received from my family,” Jackson said Friday.