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Senators poised to grill Biden’s U.S. Supreme Court pick Jackson -Breaking


© Reuters. Judge Ketanji brown Jackson stands during a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to confirm her nomination to U.S. Supreme Court. This was held on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 21, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Andrew Chung and Lawrence Hurley by Moira Warrenburton

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Ketanji Jackson, the nominee of President Joe Biden to be the first Black woman at the U.S. Supreme Court’s Supreme Court, begins Tuesday’s two-day questioning by Senators. Some Republicans are expressing aggressive attacks.

Jackson, after listening to the opening statements of Senate Judiciary Committee Members on Monday, sought to highlight faith and patriotism through her own speech, saying that she had lived a “blessing beyond measure”. Jackson also spoke out about her independence as an attorney and the duty she has to resolve cases “without fear nor favor.”

Jackson has been a federal appellate court judge since last year, after serving eight years as an federal district judge. Jackson noted that Jackson’s parents were raised in the South during racial segregation. However, they taught Jackson that if she worked hard and believed strongly in herself, America would allow her to do or become anything that she wanted.

Biden, as 2020 candidate, pledged that he would appoint Black women to the court. Jackson (51), was nominated by Biden last month to serve a life-long job as the successor of retiring liberal Justice Stephen Breyer. This set up a battle for confirmation in the tightly divided Senate.

Jackson will be questioned by the 22 members of the committee on Tuesday and Wednesday. Outside experts will testify on Thursday.

Monday was Monday for Democrats, who praised Jackson’s record as a judge in the district and federal courts and acknowledged her historic selection. Jackson was praised by Republicans for her qualifications and respect, but others attacked Jackson’s record and attempted to connect her with left-leaning advocacy groups.

“I have to wonder, what is your hidden agenda?” Marsha Blackburn (Republican Senator) asked. Is it possible to allow violent criminals and cop killers to return to the streets?

Chairman of the Committee, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin stated that the Republican party’s attacks on Jackson regarding criminal justice are baseless. Durbin pointed out that Jackson has been supported by law enforcement agencies, including the Fraternal Order of Police.

She would become the sixth Black woman to sit on the court’s high-court, and she will be confirmed. Jackson will be joining the court as a judge, making it the first ever to have four women on its bench and two Black justices.

Biden’s co-deputies are Democrats who control the Senate. The Senate has the power under the U.S. Constitution, to confirm a president’s judicial appointments. Jackson will be confirmed if there is a simple majority, regardless of the actions taken by Republicans in a divided Senate.

Jackson has been confirmed to three previous posts by the Senate, which also included last year when Biden appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia Circuit. Jackson was brought up in Miami. After graduating from Harvard Law School, she served as a Supreme Court clerk under Breyer.

She would not alter the Supreme Court’s ideological balance, with a 6-3 conservative majority that includes three of Trump’s Republican nominees. However, it would give Biden the opportunity to refresh court’s liberal bloc by adding a young justice capable of serving for many decades.

(Moira warburton; Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung. Editing by Will Dunham