U.S. Supreme Court nominee Joe Biden emphasized her “neutral” approach to judicial decision-making when the Senate Judiciary Committee kicked off the public inquiry process for the appeals court judge, who would be the first black woman to serve in the Supreme Court. court of America.
Ketanji Brown Jackson faced the 22 members of the statement opening committee Monday, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session starting on Tuesday. The committee will vote on whether or not to promote her nomination after the hearing closes later this week, after which the full Senate will make its final verdict on whether she will fill the lifelong seat vacated by Stephen Breyer.
“I judge things from a neutral stance,” Jackson told the committee during her opening address. “I evaluate the facts and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me without fear or favour, in accordance with my judicial oath”.
Democratic committee members, and even some Republicans, focused on the historic resonance of Jackson’s nomination. “With your presence here today, you are writing a new page in American history, a good page,” said Patrick Leahy, a Democratic senator for Vermont.
“Today America is witnessing the literal bending of the arc,” said Cory Booker, a Democratic senator from New Jersey, in a nod to a Martin Luther King quote – “We will conquer because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it tends to justice”.
Thom Tillis, a Republican senator from North Carolina, also praised Jackson’s temper, upbringing and honesty. The judge’s appointment was “to make others’ dreams seem within reach,” he said.
Supreme Court confirmations have become an increasingly fraught political process in recent years. Jackson is expected to receive overwhelming support from Senate Democrats and possibly some support from moderate Republicans.
Republican members of the Judiciary Committee have vowed to investigate Jackson’s decisions as a judge and member of the US Sentencing Commission.
“It seems that sometimes . † † zealous advocacy has gone beyond the pale, and in some cases it appears that your advocacy has spilled over into your decision-making process as a judge,” said John Cornyn, a Republican senator from Texas.
Marsha Blackburn, a Republican senator from Tennessee, made one of the most confrontational opening statements, accusing Jackson of trying to “protect convicts.”
“What’s your hidden agenda?” asked Blackburn.
Dick Durbin, the Democratic senator from Illinois and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee chairing Jackson’s hearing, hit back at what he called some “last-minute attempts to derail her nomination, including opposition allegations.” that she had received support from radical left-wing groups, which her record belies that claim, he added.
Durbin defined past allegations that Jackson was “soft on crime” as “baseless” allegations.
Republican lawmakers also promised to question Jackson about her “legal philosophy,” arguing that courts should interpret the law as written rather than shape policy through a flexible reading of the constitution.
Jackson told the committee she understood her “role as a judge is limited”.
Most Republican senators said they did not expect Jackson’s hearing to be a spectacle.
Jackson told the panel she had met 45 senators, including face-to-face meetings with each member of the Judiciary Committee. The American Bar Association’s federal judicial committee deemed her “well qualified” to serve on the court, the highest rating.
Thomas Griffith, a retired federal appeals court judge appointed by George W. Bush who introduced Jackson, said that while they did not always agree on the outcome of cases, “I like her diligent and careful approach, her deep understanding and respected her collegial manner, indispensable traits for success” as a judge on the Supreme Court.
Even if she’s likely to be confirmed, some Republican senators could use Jackson’s hearing to bolster bases ahead of the November midterm elections, or further their own presidential aspirations, Supreme Court justice and presidential scholar Barbara Perry said. the University of Virginia.
While Jackson may face Republican pushback, Perry said that unless something unexpected came up, it was “probably the case that she will be confirmed.”
Despite the typical political bickering around Supreme Court nominations, some experts have argued for Jackson’s confirmation last year by a bipartisan Senate vote for the federal appeals court in Washington DC — and before that as a member of the U.S. sentencing commission and as a federal district judge — in her benefit could work.
Jackson’s confirmation would enable Biden to fulfill his presidential campaign promise to appoint the first black woman to the Supreme Court. It’s also his first and possibly only chance to make his mark on the U.S. Supreme Court, a move that would encourage the Democratic party’s progressive base after the three judges appointed by Donald Trump lower the bank’s balance sheet by 6-6%. 3 had tilted in favor of conservatives.
Jackson’s legal career has spanned Harvard Law School and worked as a clerk for Breyer on the Supreme Court through private practice and a role as a federal public defender. A bipartisan group of senators praised her career path on Monday. If confirmed, she would be the first judge to previously serve as a public defender.
While she wouldn’t change the bank’s ideological balance, Jackson’s appointment would prevent liberals from losing further ground in court.
On Sunday, the court announced that Judge Clarence Thomas — who, after Breyer, is the longest-serving Supreme Court judge and often considered the most conservative member of the court — had been hospitalized with a “flu-like” infection and was being treated. with antibiotics. He is expected to be released within a few days.
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