Mar 21, 2022
Progressive advocacy groups and other backers of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court renewed calls for senators to swiftly confirm her as the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday kicked off four days of hearings.
"Jackson's sterling judicial credentials and her lived experience make her uniquely qualified for a seat on the highest court of the land."
While GOP attacks of Jackson have mounted since President Joe Biden last month announced her historic nomination to fill the seat of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, supporters have celebrated the Harvard-trained attorney's record as a federal judge, member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and public defender.
"This week, Americans will witness Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's path to becoming the first Black woman to serve on the nation's highest court, an institution long dominated by white men," said Stand Up America executive director Christina Harvey in a statement.
"President Biden has honored his promise to nominate a justice to the court that truly reflects the American public," she continued, "and now the Senate must do its part by confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson."
\u201cTo have to be the first, you have to be "the best, and, in some ways, the bravest." \n\n"But your presence here today will give inspiration to millions of people who see themselves in you," @SenatorDurbin says. #ConfirmJackson #JusticeForAll\u201d— People For the American Way (@People For the American Way) 1647875580
That message was echoed by activists who rallied in Washington, D.C. on Monday to express support for Jackson's nomination, carrying signs that said "#ConfirmJackson" and "Our Supreme Court should look like all of us."
\u201cExcited to join @nwlcaf, @sistascotus, @ncbcp_bwr in celebration of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson\u2019s historic nomination to SCOTUS! \n\nWe\u2019re calling on the Senate to move quickly and without interruption on her confirmation. #ConfirmJudgeJackson #ConfirmJackson to\u201d— Let America Vote (@Let America Vote) 1647871307
Harvey said that "from the moment Judge Jackson was announced as President Biden's nominee, it was clear her exceptional qualifications and experience as a public defender would bring an invaluable perspective to the Supreme Court."
"Senate Republicans have stumbled over themselves to justify their opposition to this supremely qualified candidate," she noted. "Instead of carrying out their constitutionally mandated duty to 'advise and consent,' they're choosing to lie and fearmonger."
\u201cSad to say this is totally unsurprising: \u201cLacking any grounds for opposition, Republicans are resorting to slime.\u201d\nhttps://t.co/iTowaDmDIx\u201d— Sheldon Whitehouse (@Sheldon Whitehouse) 1647826916
After Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) took aim at Jackson in tweets about some of her rulings as a federal judge last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin said Sunday that "as far as Sen. Hawley is concerned, here's the bottom line: He's wrong."
"He's inaccurate and unfair in his analysis," Durbin said of Hawley in a televised interview. "Judge Jackson has been scrutinized more than any person I can think of. This is her fourth time before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and three previous times, she came through with flying colors and bipartisan support."
"This was the man who was fist-bumping the murderous mob that descended on the Capitol on January 6 of last year," the chair added of the GOP senator, referencing an infamous action caught on camera. "He doesn't have the credibility he thinks he does."
\u201cMcConnell goes after Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for having the gall to represent indigent defendants as a Public Defender. Someone get the fainting couch for ole Mitch. Hey Mitch, NOTHING is more important than representing the poor & the powerless. https://t.co/qeqSYhySJw\u201d— Glenn Kirschner (@Glenn Kirschner) 1647868981
As the Senate Judiciary Committee began confirmation hearings, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law released a report evaluating Jackson and recommending her confirmation.
"After carefully vetting Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's record, it is clear that she has the extraordinary qualifications, experience, and character to serve the nation on the Supreme Court," said Damon Hewitt, the committee's president and executive director.
Judge Jackson is a highly skilled and meticulous jurist who will bring a welcome perspective to the high court as the first justice with experience as a public defender, and the first since Justice Thurgood Marshall to bring significant criminal defense experience to the court. Just as Justice Marshall broke barriers as the first Black justice, Judge Jackson will become the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court when she is confirmed.
Judge Jackson's extraordinary legal career demonstrates that she will be a champion for justice, and a defender of civil rights, and can be counted on to be fair and impartial as the court decides some of the most monumental cases of our time. She is the right person for this moment and will help the Supreme Court return to its highest calling of being a driver of fairness and equality.
Alongside the report, the committee released a letter to the Senate signed by over 100 members arguing that Jackson "possesses extraordinary qualifications and a breadth of experience in her legal career, and she is exceptionally well-qualified" to serve on the court.
Other advocates of voting rights, reproductive freedom, and climate action also made their support for Jackson clear on Monday.
\u201cOn the first day of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson\u2019s Supreme Court confirmation hearing, End Citizens United // Let America Vote Action Fund sent a letter to Sen. @DickDurbin & Sen. @ChuckGrassley expressing support for her confirmation. #ConfirmJackson https://t.co/uU7BsUy3Dc\u201d— End Citizens United (@End Citizens United) 1647879752
"Our environmental laws are only as strong as the judges who uphold them, and Judge Jackson's record shows that she will decide cases based on facts, science, and settled law--not political ideology," said Earthjustice president Abigail Dillen. "With her stellar qualifications and her lived experiences as a federal judge and public defender and as a Black woman in this country, Judge Jackson will bring essential perspectives to the Supreme Court."
"As the court takes up questions with profound implications for people's lives, our climate and environment, and our democracy, we need someone with the temperament and judicial qualifications to uphold the law with fairness and a deep commitment to justice," she asserted. "Judge Jackson is that person."
\u201cRight now, we have an opportunity to shape the Supreme Court for decades to come\u2014but we need your help. Email your senators right now to tell them to support the swift confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Court. https://t.co/Yde3taw9yx #ConfirmJackson\u201d— NARAL (@NARAL) 1647878423
\u201c"We deserve a Supreme Court justice who isn't afraid to protect our ability to walk safely into an abortion clinic...We deserve Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson." \n\n@RBraceySherman @AbortionStories #ConfirmJackson\u201d— National Women's Law Center (@National Women's Law Center) 1647875505
Greenpeace USA Democracy Campaign director Folabi Olagbaju said that "I understand what it's like to overcome systemic hurdles Black and Brown communities across the U.S face. That is why I am proud to acknowledge that Judge Jackson's sterling judicial credentials and her lived experience make her uniquely qualified for a seat on the highest court of the land."
"The Supreme Court determines whether the government can take action on the most important issues of our time, from combating the climate crisis to upholding our right to clean air and water, and protecting our right to vote," Olagbaju added. "Because this year, the court is expected to decide on several important environmental cases, it is urgent for Judge Jackon to be confirmed without delay following the Senate hearing this week."
Jackson's hearings began as 73-year-old Justice Clarence Thomas, part of the nine-member court's right-wing supermajority, was hospitalized for an infection. The court said in a statement Sunday night that "he expects to be released from the hospital in a day or two."
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