GOP eye SCOTUS nom Jackson’s record as confirmation hearing starts

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GOP eye SCOTUS nom Jackson's record as confirmation hearing starts

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson will face the Senate Judiciary Committee for the first time Monday as four days of confirmation hearings get underway — with Republicans expected to hammer her with tough questions about her views on crime and her past experience as a public defender.

Jackson, who is likely to be confirmed as the first black woman on the Supreme Court, will make an opening statement soon after the 11 a.m. hearing gets underway before answering questions from the panel’s 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans over the next two days.

It isn’t yet clear how aggressively Republicans will go after the 51-year-old, who has been a federal judge since 2013, given her confirmation won’t alter the court’s 6-3 conservative majority.

But some committee members have signaled they’ll target Jackson’s prior work as a public defender — in which she represented clients including Guantanamo Bay terror detainees– and question whether she was too lenient on sex offenders while on the bench.

President Joe Biden (L) looks on as Ketanji Brown Jackson, circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, delivers brief remarks as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court during an event in the Cross Hall of the White House February 25, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson will face the Senate Judiciary Committee for the first time Monday.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is a U.S. Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, poses for a portrait, Friday, Feb., 18, 2022, at the court in Washington
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is likely to be confirmed as the first black woman on the Supreme Court.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) (L) meets with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson (R) on Capitol Hill March 15, 2022
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito meets with Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, March 15, 2022.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

“Judge Jackson, in every case when she’s had a child porn offender in front of her, she’s given that person a lenient sentence — lower than what the federal guidelines recommend, lower than what prosecutors from the government sought and in fact, she did it in case after case,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), told “Fox & Friends” Monday morning.

“So this is somebody, I think, who has a lot of issues when it comes to being lenient with criminals, soft on crime,” Hawley added. “And I just want to know, is this a person who’s going to protect our kids, or who is going to protect child sex predators? And we need to get those answers.”

Hawley previewed his line of questioning last week in a Twitter thread that was echoed by the Republican National Committee and slammed by the White House as “toxic and weakly presented misinformation.”

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President BidenÕs nominee for Associate Justice to the Supreme Court, poses with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in his office in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in his office in the U.S. Capitol, March 2, 2022.
© Bill Clark/Congressional Quarterly via ZUMA Press
Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, left, listens as Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., right, speaks during a meeting in her office
Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson listens as Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., speaks during a meeting in her office.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican of South Carolina), right, meets with Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in his office
Senator Lindsey Graham meets with Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in his office.
© Rod Lamkey/CNP via ZUMA Press Wire

Some senators also could question Jackson on racial issues, abortion and a push by some Democrats to increase the number of Supreme Court justices.

Hawley and fellow committee members Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) have been mentioned as potential 2024 presidential candidates and could use Jackson’s confirmation hearing to cast the national spotlight on themselves.

The Senate has confirmed Jackson to three federal posts — once to the US Sentencing Commission in 2010, again as a DC district judge in 2013, and a third time last year, after President Biden nominated her to the DC Court of Appeals.

Biden nominated Jackson to the Supreme Court last month, fulfilling a campaign promise to nominate the first black woman to the nation’s highest bench. Jackson would take the seat of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, for whom she once clerked.

Democrats have said they hope to wrap up the confirmation process before the Senate recesses for Easter in the middle of next month. Jackson would then join the court for the start of its next term in October.

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson (R) meets with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (L) (D-NY) on March 02, 2022
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer on March 2, 2022.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Sen. Chris Coons
Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Sen. Chris Coons.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., greets Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in her hideaway office at the Capitol, Wednesday, March 16, 2022,
Sen. Dianne Feinstein greets Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in her hideaway office at the Capitol, Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 8, 2022
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, March 8, 2022.
AP

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