Merrick Garland was appointed by President Joe Biden as attorney general of the United States earlier this year. Previously, Garland was nominated for the United Supreme Court by President Barack Obama. But, famously, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to move forward with the nomination.

In any event, Garland's appointment meant he vacated his old post. That being a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. A success has recently been confirmed by the United States Senate in Ketanji Brown Jackson. As it turns out, Jackson has some notable family ties.

Related by marriage to former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan

Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed as the next judge of the District of Columbia's U.S. Court of Appeals. The Senate vote was a bipartisan one, as noted by CNN.

The jurisdiction of the court is the smallest of its kind in the country. But the court is arguably the most powerful in American aside from the U.S. Supreme Court. And several of the D.C. Appeals Court judges have eventually gone on to the Supreme Court.

Jackson had been a federal judge in the District of Columbia for several years. And has been mentioned various times as a potential future Supreme Court justice. Her new position could be seen as another stepping stone in that path.

Since 1999, she has been married to Dr. Patrick G. Jackson, with whom she has two daughters. Dr. Jackson is chief of gastrointestinal surgery, as well as an associate professor, at Georgetown University.

Now, here's where you might have to follow a bit closer. Patrick's brother, William, married Dana Little. Dana's sister, Janna, is married to Paul Ryan.

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This makes Paul Ryan and Ketanji Brown Jackson siblings-in-law. If a bit more indirectly than one might usually think of the term.

Ryan was a speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2015 to 2019. For 20 years, he was a Republican member of the House, holding the seat from Wisconsin's 1st District. The district currently includes the Milwaukee area, Kenosha, and parts of Rock and Walworth counties.

Though anchor cities such as Beloit and Milwaukee itself are parts of other districts. During his Congressional career, Ryan also chaired the House Budget and the House Ways and Means committees.

An extra twist to the story is the connection between Ryan and Joe Biden, who appointed Jackson. In 2012, both were hoping to get the same job -- vice president of the United States. Biden was the incumbent at the time. In short, if incumbent President Obama won re-election, Biden kept the job. If Republican challenger Mitt Romney won, Ryan would get the job. Obama won, and Biden stayed on. Both Ryan and Biden have spoken fondly of each other and apparently share a warm relationship. With Ryan even giving an endorsement of Biden during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary season.

Similarly, ABC indicates that Ryan and Jackson also get along quite well. After her first federal nomination, he introduced her at the ensuing Congressional hearing. At which he enthusiastically supported Jackson for confirmation.

Through their marriages, both are also connected to the Borens, a Democratic political dynasty from Oklahoma. As well as noted songwriter Mae Boren Axton.

Jackson has been a District Court judge

At the time of her appointment and confirmation, Jackson was a U.S. District Court judge. In the past, she clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. As well as other federal judges Bruce M. Selya and Patti B. Saris.

Jackson is a native of Washington, D.C. She would graduate from high school in Pinecrest, Florida. Later obtaining degrees from Harvard University and Harvard Law School. In between tenures in the public sector, she worked for the law firm Morrison & Foerster.