U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is slated to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee for confirmation hearings on her nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States. If confirmed, Jackson would become the first Black woman to ever sit on the nation’s highest court.
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The first day of the conformation hearings was set for 11 a.m. on Monday, March 21. The process was also scheduled to reconvene at 9 a.m. on each day from Tuesday to Thursday.
President Joe Biden nominated Jackson to replace retiring liberal Justice Stephen Breyer. The first day of hearings began the night after a SCOTUS spokesperson announced that conservative Justice Clarence Thomas went to the hospital and was diagnosed with an infection. The 73-year-old’s health scare and Jackson’s confirmation hearing happen during a period of increased polarization surrounding nominations to the Supreme Court.
Republicans, who controlled the Senate in 2016, stonewalled then-President Barack Obama when he nominated then-circuit judge and current U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to replace the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. After the election, then-President Donald Trump successfully nominating Neil Gorsuch as the next justice.
Trump later replaced retiring “swing vote” jurist Anthony Kennedy with Brett Kavanaugh, and the late liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Amy Coney Barrett.
Some Republicans have sought to portray Jackson — a former federal public defender, federal district judge, and circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — as improperly sparing on criminal defendants, particularly child pornographers.
She reached the D.C. Circuit on a 53 to 44 vote, with support from Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Graham, who said he preferred U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs as a nominee, previously signaled opposition to Jackson’s nomination.
I expect a respectful but interesting hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Harvard-Yale train to the Supreme Court continues to run unabated.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 25, 2022
[Screenshot via YouTube]
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