Liberals' Double Standard on Client Representation

Republicans have questions about Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson's involvement in providing representation for terrorism suspects being held at the Guantánamo Bay military prison. As The Washington Free Beacon reported in February, Judge Jackson was involved in the litigation while working as a federal public defender and after she moved to private practice:

Jackson has portrayed her work for the detainees as that of a disinterested professional fulfilling an assignment. But a Washington Free Beacon review of court filings dating back to 2005 indicates that Jackson was deeply committed to equal treatment for accused terrorists. Her advocacy was zealous and often resembled ideological cause lawyering, even in her capacity as a public defender. At times, she flirted with unsubstantiated left-wing theories that were debunked by government investigators. On other occasions, she accused Justice Department lawyers of egregious misconduct with little evidence.

As a federal public defender, Jackson represented a Guantanamo detainee accused of attacking a U.S. military base in Afghanistan. She continued to advocate on behalf of detainees and attack Bush-era detention policies in the Supreme Court after she left public service for private practice.

But as The Hill notes, Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin and other Democrats are saying such questions are not warranted since lawyers should represent controversial clients:

Asked by The Hill about the GOP’s criticism of her detainee work, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Jackson “played a very minor role” while in private practice on the detainee-related cases.

“But let’s be very candid about this, in the United States of America we try to make sure everyone has a right to counsel. The Republicans seem to forget that if it involves representing a controversial defendant,” Durbin said.  

Yet, Senator Durbin's remarks about Republicans not supporting the right to counsel are laughable considering current efforts by liberals—led by the leftist "The 65 Project"—to target Republican lawyers who were involved in litigation surrounding the 2020 election.

Republicans will give Judge Jackson a fair hearing, unlike how liberals have unfairly treated past Republican nominees and how they are currently treating Republican lawyers. But that does not mean that Republicans will not be thorough in analyzing Judge Jackson's record.

As we move through this confirmation process, it becomes clearer and clearer the double standard that Senate Democrats have for lawyers representing clients.