She is the first candidate with significant experience in criminal defense after Tergud Marshall, the first black American to serve in the country’s Supreme Court.
WASHINGTON – Senate Judicial Committee begins historic hearings on Monday Judge Ketanji Brown Jacksonwho will be the first black woman in the Supreme Court.
With the exception of a significant mistake by 51-year-old Jackson, a federal judge for the past nine years, Democrats, who control the Senate with the slightest advantage, intend to complete its approval by Easter.
Jackson is expected to deliver an introductory speech Monday afternoon and then answer questions from 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans on the committee over the next two days. She will be represented by Thomas B. Griffith, a retired U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the District of Columbia, and Lisa M. Fairfax, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
Jackson appeared before the same committee last year after President Joe Biden selected her to fill an opening at the Federal Court of Appeals in Washington, just below the hill above the Supreme Court.
Her testimony will give most Americans as well as the Senate the broadest view of a Harvard-trained lawyer, with a resume that includes two years as a federal attorney general. This makes her the first candidate with significant defense experience in criminal cases Turgud Marshallthe first black American to serve in the country’s highest court.
In addition to being the first black man in the Supreme Court, Jackson will be the third black judge after Marshall and his successor, Judge Clarence Thomas.
American Bar Associationevaluating candidates for the courts on Friday gave Jackson the highest rating, unanimously “well qualified”.
Janet McCarthy Wallace, NAACP’s general counsel, said she was glad to see a black woman on the verge of a high court post.
“Representation matters,” Wallace said. “It’s important to have a diverse experience on the bench. It should reflect the rich cultural diversity of this country. “
It is unclear how aggressively Republicans will pursue Jackson, given that her confirmation will not change the Conservative majority in court 6-3.
However, some Republicans have hinted that they may use Jackson’s nomination to try to denounce Democrats as soft on crime, which is a topic in Republican midterm campaigns. Biden has selected several former public defenders for lifelong judicial positions. In addition, Jackson served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an independent agency set up by Congress to reduce disparities in federal convictions.
Senator Josh Howley, R-Mo., Singled out one potential line of attack. “I have noticed a disturbing picture when it comes to Judge Jackson’s treatment of sex offenders, especially those who hunt children,” Hawley wrote on Twitter last week in a topic backed by the Republican National Committee. Howley did not raise the issue when interrogating Jackson last year before voting against her confirmation of the appellate court.
The White House has strongly rejected criticism as “toxic and underrepresented.” Sentencing expert Douglas Berman, an Ohio law professor, wrote in his blog that Jackson’s record shows that she is skeptical of the range of prison terms recommended for child pornography, “but so have prosecutors in most of her cases. the same district judges across the country. “
Hawley is one of several Republicans on the committee, along with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotan of Arkansas, who are potential presidential candidates for 2024, and their aspirations may clash with other Republicans who simply will not follow the scorched earth approach to Jackson’s Nomination.
Biden chose Jackson in February, performing Fr. election duty to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court for the first time in American history. She would have taken a seat Judge Stephen Breyerwho in January announced he would retire this summer after 28 years on the court.
Jackson once worked as a high court clerk in Breyer at the beginning of her legal career.
Democrats are moving quickly to confirm Jackson, although Breyer’s seat will not officially open until the summer. They have no extra votes in the 50-to-50 Senate, which they run as a result of a vote by Vice President Kamala Harris.
But they are not moving as fast as Republicans when Amy Connie Barrett was brought to trial just over a month after the death of Judge Ruth Bader Ginzburg and a few days before the 2020 presidential election.
Barrett, President Donald Trump’s third candidate for the Supreme Court, cemented the Conservative majority of the court when he took the seat of Liberal Ginzburg.
Last year, Jackson was approved by the Senate by 53-44 votes, with three Republicans supporting her. It is unclear how many Republicans can vote for her this time.
Jackson is married to Patrick Johnson, a surgeon from Washington. They have two daughters, one in college and the other in high school. She is married to former House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Who was also a Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012. Ryan spoke in support of Jackson’s nomination.
Jackson talked about how her children have supported her in relation to reality, even though she has been holding a judge’s gavel since 2013. In the courtroom, she told an audience in Athens, Georgia, in 2017: “People listen and usually do what I tell them to do.”
But at home, her daughters make it very clear that I don’t know anything, I shouldn’t tell them anything, let alone give them any orders, that is, if they talk to me at all, “Jackson said.