On the first day of four days of planned hearings to discuss Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee said their treatment of Jackson would violate partisan lines, with Democrats emphasizing her suitability and Republicans raising questions. about her assessment.
Jackson, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is the first black woman, and only the third black person overall, to win a seat on the nation’s Supreme Court.
The first day of the hearing involved about twenty committee members submitting initial reports, including Jackson himself. Some lawmakers used these statements to praise Jackson or to make wide-ranging statements about his feelings about the role of the Supreme Court in American society. Others used their time to teleport any questions they would ask Jackson during the second and third days of the hearing.
Monday, which lasted almost five hours, was only a warm-up. On Tuesday, each member will have 30 minutes to question the nominee, in a process that is expected to take place from morning to evening.
Senior members of the committee, on both sides of the aisle, praised Jackson’s judicial service, which began with her approval in 2013 for a seat on the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. She has also served on the U.S. jury; worked as a public defender; a clerk for several senior judges, including current Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, whom she has been appointed to replace; and worked in a private office.
Democrat Dick Durbin, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, used his inaugural statement to point out the historical nature of her nomination.
“In more than 230 years, the court has had 115 judges,” he said. “One hundred and eight have been white men. Only two judges have been colored men. Only five women have sat on the court – and only one colored woman. Not a single judge has been a black woman. You, Judge Jackson, may be the first. “
Patrick Leahy, a longtime Senate Democrat, noted that he was involved in the confirmation of 20 other Supreme Court justices during his tenure, saying, “In Judge Jackson, I have found a reputable candidate with an inappropriate record that deserves ours. respect, regardless of party. “
Leahy added: “Despite all the darkness in the world and the political edge that has unfortunately become the hallmark of parliament in recent years, your nomination fills me with hope – hope for the court, hope for the rule of law, hope for the country. . “
Senator Chuck Grassley, a senior Republican on the committee, vowed to “conduct a thorough, comprehensive review of Judge Jackson’s documents and opinions.
Representatives of his party, he said, will “ask pressing questions about Judge Jackson’s philosophy of law. In any Supreme Court nomination, the most important thing we seek is the nominee’s view of law, philosophy of law and the view of the role of judge. I will look for that. whether Judge Jackson is bound by the Constitution as originally understood. “
Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham promised that the hearing would be “provocative” for Jackson. However, he spent a lot of time criticizing Democrats’ treatment of recent Supreme Court justices nominated by Republicans, most notably current judge Brett Kavanaugh, whose interrogation in 2018 was marked by allegations of sexual misconduct decades in the past.
He vowed that members of his party would not personalize the hearings, adding: “You benefit from the fact that the Republican candidates have their lives turned upside down.
In their opening remarks, Republicans in the panel indicated some of the questions Jackson is likely to face. Some were fairly general promises to examine her view of the proper role of the judiciary in shaping public policy. Others were more accurate.
John Cornyn, a Republican senator, said he would raise Jackson’s work defending suspected terrorists then being held by US forces in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Jackson’s presentation of the defendants there was part of her work as a federal defense attorney.
“As someone who has a deep respect for the opponent of the justice system, I understand the importance of being an active advocate,” Cornyn said. “But it seems that this intense litigation has sometimes gone over the paper. And in some cases, it seems that your litigation has bled into your decision-making process as a judge.”
Jackson and her supporters have pointed out that not all four Guantanamo detainees she was assigned to serve while serving as a federal lawyer have even been charged with crimes. The accused were eventually dismissed. All four were eventually released.
Decisions on child pornography
In the days leading up to the hearing, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley had tweeted allegations that Jackson had been “soft” on child pornography in his court rulings.
Hawley’s allegations have been severely curtailed in the media, even by opponents of Jackson’s nomination. Many, including a conservative lawyer and former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, claimed he was misrepresenting Jackson’s story. McCarthy wrote in The National Review, saying the allegations were “baseless”.
Nevertheless, Hawley raised the issue on Monday in his inaugural address, saying he would address seven separate cases in which Jackson ruled. “What worries me is that in each case, in each of these seven cases, Judge Jackson sentenced a lenient sentence that was below what the federal rules recommended and below what the prosecutors requested.
In a statement last week seeking to downplay Hawley’s criticism, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, .
After several hours of opening remarks by senators, Jackson was allowed to make her own remarks, which she made by pointing out that her nomination was a great honor and by introducing her extended family, who were present at the hearing.
“If I am confirmed, I pledge to you that I will work hard to support and defend the Constitution and the great attempt of American democracy that has lasted for the past 246 years,” Jackson said.
“In this interrogation, I hope you see how much I love our country and the constitution and the rights that set us free,” she continued.
Jackson mentioned the name of Judge Constance Baker Motley, the first black woman to be appointed a federal judge.
“As Judge Motley, I have dedicated my career to ensuring that the words engraved on the front of the Supreme Court building – ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ – are a reality and not just an ideal,” Jackson said. “Thank you for this historic opportunity to join the Supreme Court, to work with great colleagues, to inspire future generations and to ensure freedom and justice for all.
Jackson will be questioned on the first day of the Senate before the Supreme Court
Source link Jackson will be questioned on the first day of the Senate before the Supreme Court