Supreme Court candidate Ketanji Brown Jackson pushes back Republican critics and defends record in first cross-examination

Washington-Supreme Court candidate Ketanji Brown Jackson strongly defended her record as a judge on Tuesday, opposed the Republican claim that she was vulnerable to crime, and became the first black woman in the High Court. If confirmed, the court declared that she would rule as an “independent lawyer.”

On the day of the cross-examination marathon, which lasted late into the night, Republicans actively questioned Jackson about the decisions he had given to sex offenders during his nine years as a federal judge. Racial theory and even her religious views. At one point, Texas Senator Ted Cruz read from a children’s book he said was taught at a teenage daughter’s school.

Some Republican senators burned her in her child pornography ruling, claiming they were lighter than federal guidelines recommend. She ruled her on the basis of many factors as well as her guidelines, and some cases gave her a nightmare, she said.

Did her decision endanger the children? “As a mother and as a judge, you can’t be far from the truth,” she said.

D-Ill, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Dick Durbin. In saying “trial trials,” Jackson sought to answer Republican concerns and emphasize her frequent bench empathic style. The Commission’s Republicans sought to brand her (and generally Democrats), saying some of them were looking to the president and were vulnerable to crime, a new theme in the GOP midterm election campaign. ..

Related: Ketanji Brown Jackson “Really Humble” SCOTUS Nominations: Full Speech

Jackson told the committee that her brother and two uncles acted as police officers: “Crime and community implications, and the need for law enforcement-these are not abstract concepts or political slogans for me. “.

The hearing on Tuesday was the first of two days of questions after Jackson and the 22 members of the panel made their opening statements on Monday. On Thursday, the Commission will hear from legal experts before the final vote to move her nomination to the Senate floor.

President Joe Biden chose Jackson in February to fulfill his campaign promise to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court for the first time in American history. She took the seat of Judge Stephen Breyer and announced in January that he would retire in court 28 years later. Jackson is the third black judge and sixth woman after Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas.

With the exception of unexpected developments, Democrats who dominate the Senate with the smallest margin want to conclude Jackson’s confirmation before Easter, but Breyer ends his current session this summer. Will not leave.

She said the possibility of becoming the first black woman in court was “very meaningful” and she received many letters from young girls. Growing up in Miami, Jackson said he didn’t have to attend a racist public school like his parents did. .. “

Related: What questions does Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a candidate for the Supreme Court, face?

Her nomination also “supports public confidence in the judiciary,” Jackson said.

The Democrats have praised Biden’s Supreme Court candidate, not only she was the first black woman, but also the first elected counsel in court and the first to represent a poor criminal defendant since Judge Marshall. I pointed out that.

Republicans also praised the experience, but questioned it, especially focusing on the work she did on behalf of Guantanamo Bay inmates about 15 years ago. Mr Jackson said public defenders did not choose their customers and “supported the constitutional value of their representatives.” She said she continued to represent one client in a private practice as her company happened to be assigned his case.

Cruz, who picked up a thread amplified by Republican National Committee in a fundraising email, started by Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, asked Jackson about her writing for a child pornographic writer. ..

Jackson defended her decision by stating that it took into account the victim’s story, the nature of the crime, and the history of the defendant, as well as the sentencing guidelines.

“The judge isn’t playing number games,” she said. “The judge is considering all of these various factors.”

The White House rejected criticism as “toxic and weakly presented false information.” And Douglas Berman, a law professor in Ohio, who is a sentencing expert, showed in his blog that Jackson’s records are skeptical of the range of sentences she is recommended for child pornography cases. “In most of her cases, so did the prosecutor. He is a district judge across the country.”

Senator Tom Cotton of Cruz, Harley, and Arkansas was a candidate for president in 2024, and their questions were the most combative as they ran into issues that were popular with Republican supporters. Cruz asked her about her critical race theory. This is a premise that focuses on the idea that racism is systematic in the national system. Jackson said the idea didn’t appear in her job as a judge, and if confirmed, “I wouldn’t count on it.”

Senator Texas also asked her about her daughter’s private school in Washington, where she sat down on the board and brought out a book called “Antiracist Baby,” which he said was taught by young children at school. ..

“Do you agree with this book, which teaches children that babies are racists?” Cruz asked.

Obviously frustrated, Jackson stopped for a long time. She said she should not make her children feel racist, victims, or oppressors. “I don’t believe in any of them,” she said.

Cotton asked her if she should increase or decrease police, a question she refused to answer, and a drug sentence.

Jackson was also angry at a question from South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who voted for her confirmation as a judge in the Court of Appeals last year, but President Joe Biden chose her as a judge in South Carolina. After that, he publicly expressed his frustration. Graham asked her about her religion and how often she went to church, and he was angry that what he said was an unjust criticism of Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Catholicism prior to her confirmation in 2020. I was careful.

Jackson, who thanked God in the opening statement and stated that faith “supports me at this time,” replied that she was Protestant. But she wants to keep in mind the needs of her people to give her confidence in her ability to separate her personal views of herself. She said she was reluctant to talk in detail about her beliefs.

Asked about the abortion, Jackson immediately agreed with the comments made by conservative judges Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh when they stood up for confirmation. “Raw and Casey are the Supreme Court’s reconciled legislation on women’s right to end pregnancy. They have established a framework reaffirmed by the court,” Jackson said.

Jackson’s answer bypassed an important point: the court is currently considering whether to dismiss those cases affirming the national right to abortion.

Near the end of the day, Senator John Kennedy, Louisiana, asked Jackson when his life would begin. I am arbitrating the case. “

The White House said on Tuesday that Biden saw part of the hearing and was proud of Jackson’s “elegance and dignity.”

Chris Maher, deputy spokesman for the White House, was impressed by the president’s “quick dismantling of the conspiracy theory she had maliciously advocated.”


Associated Press writers Jessica Gresco, Lisa Mascaro, Josh Boke, Colleen Long, Kevin Flaking in Washington, and Aaron Morrison in New York contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 By AP communication. all rights reserved.

Supreme Court candidate Ketanji Brown Jackson pushes back Republican critics and defends record in first cross-examination

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