Supreme Court Hearings: Legal experts weigh in on last day of Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings

WASHINGTON – Legal experts and interest groups are examining Ketanji Brown Jackson as the Senate Justice Committee completes four days of hearings on her historic candidacy to become the first black woman in the Supreme Court.

Jackson faced a barrage of Republicans questioning for two days over her convictions, her attempt to join the Supreme Court turned from high constitutional questions to attacks on her motives on the bench.

On Thursday, the last day of the hearing, interest groups including the American Bar Association and civil rights organizations will testify about Jackson’s suitability for court. Witnesses selected by Republican senators will also speak.

The American Bar Association, which evaluates candidates for judges, last week gave Jackson his highest rating, unanimously “good qualifications.”

On Wednesday, the last day of her Senate questioning, Jackson said she would rule “without any agenda” as the supreme black woman justice of the Supreme Court and rejected Republicans’ attempts to call her a felony in her decade-long federal case. bearing.

The GOP’s criticism at the confirmation hearing was met with widespread praise from Democrats and concerns about the historic nature of her candidacy – no more riveting in the room by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, who used his time to say no. to ask questions but to speak in tears and to draw tears from Jackson.

Booker, the Black, said he sees “my ancestors and yours” when he looks at her. “I know what it took to sit here in that seat,” he said. “You won this position.”

Jackson was silent as Booker spoke, but tears welled up in her face as her family sat behind her.

Jackson cried for the second time after similar praise from Sen. Alex Padilla and told the Democratic of California that he hoped to be inspired because “I love this country, because I love the law.”

Although her approval seems entirely certain – Democrats are aiming for a vote before Easter – Republicans have continued to try to break her record.

In more than 22 hours of hearings, Republican senators aggressively questioned Jackson on sentencing for child pornography to nine years as a federal judge, her legal defense on suspicion of terrorism in Guantanamo. the critical race. theory and even its religious views.

The calm escalated as Wednesday’s hearing continued, with Justice Committee Chairman Dick Darbin, D-Ill., Striking his hammer at a point where Cruz refused to step down after his time burning Jackson.

“You can hit it as much as you want,” Cruz said, shouting that he just wanted Jackson to answer his question.

“At some point you have to follow the rules,” Darbin replied.

The focus on condemnation was part of a wider effort by Republican Republicans – many of whom are likely to run for president – to describe Jackson’s background and judicial philosophy as overly compassionate and lenient with those who commit the worst crimes. It also reflects an emerging emphasis on crime in the GOP’s mid-term election campaigns.

Senator Thom Tillis, RN.C., told Jackson that he seemed like “a very kind person” – but “there is at least one level of empathy in your treatment of a defendant that some might think might go beyond what some from us it would be comfortable, in terms of the administration of justice “.

The prolonged focus on its history suggests that, contrary to Democratic hopes, Jackson’s affirmative vote in the full Senate is unlikely to garner much Republican support, if any. However, several Republicans have acknowledged that he may be on the pitch. Democrats can confirm it without any bipartisan support in the Senate by 50-50, as Vice President Kamala Harris can vote for the tie.

Jackson, backed by the Democrats on the committee, said Republicans misjudged her decisions. Asked if her decisions endanger children, she told the commission on Tuesday: “Nothing can be further from the truth.”

He said he bases the sentences on many factors, not just federal guidelines. Condemnation is not a “number game”, he said, noting that there are no mandatory penalties for sex offenders and that there has been considerable discussion on the issue.

Some of the cases gave her nightmares, she said, and were “one of the worst I’ve ever seen.”

She reminded the committee that her brother and her two uncles served as police officers and that “crime and its effects on the community and the need for law enforcement – these are not abstract concepts or political slogans for me”.

President Joe Biden elected Jackson in February, fulfilling a campaign promise to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court. He would replace Judge Stephen Breyer, who announced in January that he would retire this summer after 28 years.

Jackson would be the third black judge, after Thergood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and the sixth woman. Her confirmation will keep the current Conservative majority 6-3 on the floor. She would also be the first former public defender in court and the first experienced judge to represent needy defendants since Marshall.

Some of the toughest interrogation rounds during the hearings came from potential GOP presidential candidates, including Cruz, Missouri Sen. Josh Howley, and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton. Everything was hit on issues that are popular under the GOP, including attacks on critical race theory, the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions. Jackson said the idea did not appear in her work as a judge and that “it would not be something I would rely on” if it were confirmed.


Associated Press writers Kevin Freking, Jessica Gresko, Lisa Mascaro, Darlene Superville and Colleen Long in Washington and Aaron Morrison in New York contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Supreme Court Hearings: Legal experts weigh in on last day of Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings Source link Supreme Court Hearings: Legal experts weigh in on last day of Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings

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