Judge Katanji Brown Jackson Faces Up to 12 Grueling Hours of Grilling Questions

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Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson needs to be ready for a marathon. She may face up to 12 hours of intense grilling from the 22 senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In the past, Democratic senators have lashed out at nominees from a Republican president. In 2018, Judge Brett Kavanaugh faced a grueling nomination process filled with partisan power plays. The GOP leadership on the Senate Judiciary Committee has said that they will not attackJudge Jackson in the way that their Democratic colleagues have in the past. 

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina vowed that no GOP senator was going to unleashon the nominee and go after her character. Graham actually referenced how the Democrats brought up a secretletter from Christine Blasey Ford, the accuser of Judge Kavanaugh. 

None of us, I hope, have been sitting on information about you as a person for weeks or months. You come into our offices and we never share it with you to allow you to give your side of the story. We wait to the very last minute when the hearings about to be gaveled, concluded, and say, Oh, by the way, Ive got this letter,Senator Graham said.

And Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz actually promised Judge Jackson the Republicans would not use Democratic practices saying that her nomination process would not have the same disgraceful behavior;no one would be looking into her dating history as a teenager. Cruz did say that the fact that they wont be asking sarcastic questions like, Do you like beer?doesnt mean that the hearing was going to be non-substantive and non-vigorous.

When Jackson was given the opportunity to respond on the first day of her hearing, she promised that she would do exactly what she has done in the past, defend the Constitution and decide cases from a neutral place. 

I evaluate the facts, and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me without fear or favor, consistent with my judicial oath,Jackson said.

The judge, who would be the only Supreme Court Justice to have served as a public defender, said that she could never fill the shoes of Justice Stephen Breyer, who she would replace if confirmed. Jackson once served as a law clerk for Justice Breyer. 

Jacksons hearing took on some controversy already when GOP Republican Senator Josh Hawley brought up her record on crime. He noted that in the past she has had a pattern of allowing child porn offenders off the hook for their crimes. His information caused some House Republicans to write a letter asking the Senate Judiciary Committee to seek a full investigation of Jacksons former rulings. The letter specifically asks for a probe into three child pornography cases from the time Jackson was vice-chair of the U.S. sentencing commission. 

But Hawley did say that they would not come at Jackson with any trickery, but they just want to give her a chance to talk about her record. He said that he did not intend to try to trap” the judge, he was just interested in how she would answer and explain her rulings. 

Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin took issue with Hawleys line of questioning on Jacksons judicial record. He said that it was an unfair attackand criticized the GOP leadership for saying that Jackson was soft on crime.

Durbin said that their accusations fly in the face of pledges my colleagues made that they would approach your nomination with civility and respect.He added that people in America would see through the Republican tactics as long-shot attempts to stop the nomination process. 

So in the midst of the partisan banter, the marathon process will likely go forward. There is not much that can stop this historic nomination.