Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Uses ‘Survivor’ To Teach Life Lessons During Commencement Speech
Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is such a “Survivor superfan” that she modeled part of her recent commencement speech around the competition reality show.
Brown spoke to the graduating class of American University’s law school and shared life lessons from watching 43 of “Survivor’s” 44 seasons, the Associated Press reports.
“I watch it with my husband and my daughters even now, which I will admit it’s not easy to do with the demands of my day job,” she shared.
“But you have to set priorities, people. And that’s exactly the first lesson that I have for you today.”
The Supreme Court’s first Black female justice referenced the long-running reality show because while she admitted it’s “fun” to watch,” there are “broader lessons that are helpful for becoming a good lawyer.” Among the lessons Jackson shared included the reminder to “make the most of the resources that you have.”
Recalling her own time as a public defender working against prosecutors who had more resources than her, she stressed the importance of “moving forward even when the deck is stacked against you,” she said.
Jackson, who is coming to the end of her first term on the court, likened the lesson to one Survivor contestant with a prosthetic leg who prevailed during a difficult challenge involving a balance beam.
“My advice to you is to do your best to shut out distractions, use your time wisely, and figure out how to make the most of what you have,” Jackson said.
Elsewhere, the newest Supreme Court justice shared her “incredible journey” from graduating law school, and serving others as a public defender, before serving in one of the highest honors.
“I still wake up some mornings confused as to whether this is really happening to me or am I living in a dream,” Jackson said.
Her speech came on the heels of justices hearing arguments on issues they have until June to issue opinions on, including affirmative action, voting rights, religious liberty, and President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.
RELATED CONTENT: Miami-Dade County Names Street After Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson