The nomination hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson began with statements from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Jackson. Questioning is expected to begin Tuesday, with the nomination hearing wrapping up on Thursday.
“Members of this committee, If I am confirmed, I commit to you that I will work productively to support and defend the Constitution,” Jackson said Monday. “I decide cases from a neutral posture. I evaluate the facts and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me without fear or favor, consistent with my judicial oath.”
In their statements, may Democratic senators congratulated Jackson on her nomination, noting the historic nature of a potential appointment to the Supreme Court. In confirmed, Jackson would be the first Black woman on the high court.
“It’s not easy being the first. Often you have to be the best. In some ways, the bravest. Many are not prepared to face that kind of heat, that kind of scrutiny, that ordeal in the glare of the national spotlight,” committee chair Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said. “But your presence here today, your willingness to brave this process will give inspiration to millions of Americans who see themselves in you.”
Committee Republicans gave a preview over some of their concerns regarding Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court at the hearing Monday. It appears they will attempt to portray Jackson as soft on crime, citing her experience serving as a public defender for Guantanamo Bay detainees, as well as her record when it comes to the sentencing in child pornography cases.
“I’m a bit troubled by some of the positions you’ve taken and arguments that you’ve made representing people who have committed terrorist acts against the United States and other dangerous criminals,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said.
“Let me just run you through a few of them so you know exactly which ones I mean,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said. “United States vs. Hawkins. This was a child pornography case where the defendant distributed multiple images of child porn, possessed dozens more, including videos. The federal sentencing guidelines recommended a sentence of 97 to 121 months in prison. Prosecutors recommended 24 months in prison. Judge Jackson gave the defendant three months in prison.”
Brown was nominated to replace Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who retired earlier this year. While his seat doesn’t officially open until the summer, Democrats are looking to confirm Jackson by Easter.