Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson talked “dark money,” Guantanamo Bay, sentencing, and critical race theory on Tuesday during her first day of questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Republicans deployed a dual-track opposition strategy. Some used their time to criticize Democrats without engaging directly with Jackson’s record. Others peppered the judge with pointed questions about her sentencing record on child pornography cases or
The 22 lawmakers on the committee are each allotted 30 minutes to question the judge, teeing up a marathon session that will run late into the evening and resume Wednesday morning. These are the punchiest exchanges so far.
Grassley Presses KBJ On Whitehouse and ‘Dark Money’
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), the ranking Republican on the committee, got Jackson to reject Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D., R.I.) longstanding contention that the Supreme Court is in the pocket of big business.
Whitehouse has for years pushed the view that the Court’s conservative majority dutifully serves monied Republican interests because they were groomed by conservative legal organizations who are bankrolled by rightwing “dark money.”
“I don’t have any reason to believe that that’s the case,” Jackson said. “I have only the highest esteem for the members of the Supreme Court.”
KBJ Dodges Questions About Court Packing
Grassley also pushed Jackson on the leftwing campaign to pack the Supreme Court. Those efforts stalled after President Joe Biden’s commission on court reform declined to endorse the move. Jackson dodged, citing Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s refusal to engage the matter during her 2020 confirmation hearings.
Graham Defends Bush-Era Detention System
Jackson advocated for detainees at Guantanamo Bay as a federal public defender and later as a lawyer in private practice.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) didn’t fault the judge for that work, but he vigorously defended the Bush-era detention system and had hot exchanges with committee chairman Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) when Durbin suggested the recidivism rate of Guantanamo detainees wasn’t as high as Graham contended.
Cruz Asks KBJ About The 1619 Project
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) grilled Jackson over citations she made to New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones, the prime force behind the 1619 Project. The 1619 Project purports to show, among other things, that preserving slavery was a prime cause of the American Revolution. Cruz also asked the judge about her service on the board of a school that recommends books including critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi’s Antiracist Baby.
“I do not believe any child should be made to feel they are racist, or oppressors or victims,” Jackson replied, adding her service on the board of the school did not encompass the content of the curriculum.
Hawley Asks KBJ Why She Apologized to a Pedophile
Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) pressed Jackson to explain why she once apologized to a sex offender while handing down a sentence. Hawley quoted Jackson saying “I feel terrible about the collateral consequences of this conviction,” before adding that “sex offenders are truly shunned in our society.” When Hawley asked “Is he a victim, is that your view here?” Jackson equivocated, saying “I don’t have the entire record in front of me.”
The Washington Free Beacon will update this story as the hearings continue.
" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."