On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee wrapped up the first day of Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. From the start of the hearing, it became clear that the atmosphere of the hearings would be night and day from the hearings for former President Trump's nominees to the Court (Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch). Ranking Member Chuck Grassley explained during his opening statement:
We will conduct a thorough, exhaustive examination of Judge Jackson’s record and views. We won’t try to turn this into a spectacle based on alleged process fouls. On that front, we’re off to a good start. Unlike the start to the Kavanaugh hearings, we didn’t have repeated, choreographed interruptions of Chairman Durbin during his opening statement like Democrats interrupted me for more than an hour during my opening statement at the Kavanaugh hearing.
What we will do, however, is ask tough questions about Judge Jackson’s judicial philosophy. In any Supreme Court nomination, the most important thing we look for is the nominee’s view of the law, judicial philosophy and view on the role of a judge. I’ll be looking to see whether Judge Jackson is committed to the Constitution as originally understood.
Senators Lindsey Graham and Ben Sasse opined that no matter what Judge Jackson says during the hearings, she will not be attacked the way the Republican nominees were.
Sen. @LindseyGrahamSC to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson: "You will not be vilified. You will not be attacked for your religious views. You will not be accused of something that you could not defend yourself against until it was too late." #SCOTUS pic.twitter.com/h04r8rhEva— CSPAN (@cspan) March 21, 2022
Senator Ben Sasse: "The most recent Supreme Court nominee was subjected to repeated accusations that were nothing more than unfiltered religious bigotry against her. The nominee before her was accused of serial rape..." pic.twitter.com/vsb08rEBeC— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) March 21, 2022
The theme throughout Monday's hearing was that there are several questions that remain unanswered about Judge Jackson's record on everything from critical race theory to her record on sentencing in child porn cases heading into the questioning portion of the hearings.
.@MarshaBlackburn calls out Ketanji Brown Jackson:— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 21, 2022
"You have praised the 1619 Project ... and you have made clear that you believe judges must consider critical race theory when deciding how to sentence criminal defendants." pic.twitter.com/QB6PY9VxRN
Democrats have argued her time on the U.S. Sentencing Commission is an important part of Judge Jackson’s experience that she’ll draw on as a judge.— Sen. Grassley Press (@GrassleyPress) March 21, 2022
That’s why @ChuckGrassley has tried to get the documents from her time at the Commission. #SCOTUS pic.twitter.com/9z0qaJUwvu
Please watch these opening remarks by @HawleyMO.— 🇺🇸 Mike Davis 🇺🇸 (@mrddmia) March 21, 2022
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has a 25-year record -- as a law student, on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and as a federal judge -- of advocating for lesser punishment for sex predators of kids.
The job of the court, of the judiciary, is never to exert will or force. It is only judgment, discerning what the law says.https://t.co/cLidGYjnMu— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) March 21, 2022
Specifically, RNLA laid out the following questions that we hope will be answered during the hearings in a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley:
1. Role on the Harvard Board of Overseers
What was Judge Jackson’s role on the Harvard Board of Overseers regarding admission standards for Asian students and did she received confidential information regarding the lawsuit currently pending before the Supreme Court? While she may refuse to do so at the hearing, she must affirmatively pledge to recuse herself from the upcoming Supreme Court case at her hearing if she has been involved in any internal discussions of the case or strategy regarding it, she was involved in creating or approving the admission standards at issue in the case, or she has received confidential information regarding the case or its background.
2. Judicial Philosophy
What is Judge Jackson’s judicial philosophy? During her confirmation to the United States Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, she failed to articulate a coherent judicial philosophy in response to written and verbal questioning.
3. Service on the U.S. Sentencing Commission
During Judge Jackson’s service on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, what positions, if any, did she take on sentencing for serious crimes such as child sex offenses? We understand that the release of some of Judge Jackson’s records may be beyond her control, but the shortened confirmation timeline places a higher burden on her to discuss these concerns during her confirmation hearings.
Concerns with Judge Jackson's record are underscored by the fact that her nomination is being supported by a public campaign by leftist dark money groups like Demand Justice who attempted to bully Justice Breyer into retiring early and support the radical upheaval of the judicial system.
The same people who tried to bully Justice Breyer into an early retirement are the same people who want to fundamentally remake the judiciary, and coincidentally, advocated for the nomination of Judge Jackson to the Supreme Court. #KBJArabella— RNLA ⚖️ (@TheRepLawyer) March 21, 2022
Shameless Sheldon Whitehouse claims Judge Jackson comes not from a “dark-money turnstile” but via “A thorough and independent review of her record”… led by a former employee of the same liberal dark money group leading the push for her nomination. 😂🤣https://t.co/DmI7pOmwMZ— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) March 21, 2022
“What is it about your nomination that the most liberal people under the umbrella of Arabella threw in their money, their time, their support, and threatened Joe Biden if he picked Judge Childs? I want to know more about that.” - @LindseyGrahamSC pic.twitter.com/8bHxYymirU— JCN (@judicialnetwork) March 21, 2022
RNLA looks forward to a productive and respectful week of hearings and, hopefully, answers to the outstanding questions Republicans have about Judge Jackson's record.