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Supreme Court: Republicans grill Ketanji Brown Jackson as Trump Jr attacks on Twitter

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Watch live as Senate Judiciary Committee begin hearing on Biden's Supreme Court nominee

Ketanji Brown Jackson, Joe Biden’s first Supreme Court nominee, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the first of her confirmation hearings. The first Black woman to be nominated to the court, she will if confirmed replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

With the Democrats in control of the Senate and the court now heavily tilted in conservatives’ favour, Ms Brown Jackson – currently a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia – is expected to be confirmed barring some unforseen event.

However, some Republicans have lately begun attacking her for her past work as a public defender, focusing in particular on her work defending sexual offenders. Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, yesterday questioned her aggressively about supposedly lenient sentences she handed down to certain child sexual offenders.

The White House condemned his line of questioning – which is based on largely debunked misrepresentations of the decisions in question – calling it an ‘embarrassing, QAnon-signalling smear’ in reference to the conspiracy theory that the world is run by a cabal of cannibalistic paedophiles.


Ketanji Brown Jackson responds to GOP sex crime sentencing criticism

Judge Jackson had a heated moment with Sen Ted Cruz on Tuesday at her hearing as Mr Cruz repeatedly insisted that she had failed to consider the “voice” of child pornography victims at trials she oversaw.

Ms Jackson stressed in response that she always did so.

“I take these cases very seriously as a mother, as someone who as a judge has to review the actual evidence in these cases,” she said, adding that Mr Cruz and other Republicans were ignoring the broader context of the cases they were referencing.

John Bowden22 March 2022 19:24

Democrat praises Jackson’s record

Sen Chris Coons praised Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for her judicial record of handling cases on a nonpartisan basis after she faced withering attacks from Ted Cruz regarding her history of sentencing sex offenders.

Mr Coons described Ms Jackson as “a judge striving to make even-handed decisions” and dismissed “a caricature of a leftist agenda” that he said Republicans had concocted to oppose.

John Bowden22 March 2022 19:42

Judge Jackson counter assertion that the ‘left’ is celebrating her nomination

Sen Lindsey Graham was one of the GOP senators on Tuesday who tried to tie Ms Jackson to a number of left-leaning groups that have issued statements in support of her confirmation to the Supreme Court.

After unsuccessfully prying to find a direct connection between Ms Jackson and groups like Demand Justice, Mr Graham asked: “Did you notice that people from the left were pretty much cheering you on?”

“A lot of people were cheering me on, senator,” she shot back.

John Bowden22 March 2022 20:20

ICYMI: Lindsey Graham mocked for storming off after ranting at Ketanji Brown Jackson

Sen Lindsey Graham’s questioning of Ketanji Brown Jackson was expected by few to be the source of the biggest fireworks of Tuesday’s hearing, but that’s exactly what happened when the South Carolina Republican ended his remarks by storming off the panel.

Watch the scene that unfolded when Mr Graham attemped to press Ms Jackson about the various liberal groups that have released statements in support of her nomination:

Lindsey Graham mocked for storming off after ranting at Ketanji Brown Jackson

Senator is irate that Judge Jackson has liberal defenders

John Bowden22 March 2022 21:10

Ketanji Brown Jackson pushes back on Ted Cruz when asked if she believes ‘babies are racist’

While Ketanji Brown Jackson eventually pushed Sen Ted Cruz back into the realm of posing questions about her judicial record, she did take the time during their exchange on Tuesday to discuss her own feelings about racial equality.

After Mr Cruz asserted that proponents of critical race theory were teaching children that “babies are racist”, Ms Jackson responded that she did not believe any child should be brought up to feel that they are inherently racist or evil.

“I do not believe that any child should be made to feel as though they are racist or as though they are not valued or that they are less than, that they are victims that they are oppressors. I don’t believe in any of that,” she said.

Ketanji Brown Jackson hits back at Cruz when asked if she thinks ‘babies are racist’

The Texas Senator asked about a book called ‘Antiracist Baby’ and critical race theory.

John Bowden22 March 2022 21:45

Durbin and Jackson clarify judge’s comments after GOP senator complains about Guantanamo case

Judiciary Committee chairman Dick Durbin allowed Ketanji Brown Jackson to clarify her comments about war crimes after Sen John Cornyn of Texas accused her of calling former President George W. Bush a “war criminal” in a brief on behalf of a Guantanamo detainee.

"To be clear, there was no time where you called President Bush or Secretary Rumsfeld a 'war criminal'," Mr Durbin asked Ms Jackson.

"Correct, Senator. Thank you. That was correct," the judge responded.

John Bowden22 March 2022 22:15

Ginni Thomas: Wife of Supreme Court justice donated $15,000 to Trump and other GOP campaigns, records show

As the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas continues to draw scrutiny for her vocal GOP activism, her donations to Republicans are once again raising eyebrows.

Ginni Thomas reentered headlines in recent weeks when she revealed her attendance at the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally outside of the White House, while contending that she did not take part in the attack on Congress.

The revelation was shocking given that her husband is expected to remain politically neutral on hot-button issues, and during his recent tenure has been in the position to consider efforts by the Trump campaign to overturn the 2020 election.

It also raised the question as to whether Mr Thomas believes the conspiracies and falsehoods spread by the Trump campaign after Donald Trump’s November 2020 defeat to Joe Biden; such conspiracies have been embraced by many members of the GOP but have yet to gain significant support in GOP congressional leadership; no sitting Supreme Court justice has offered an opinion about the 2020 election or the events of January 6 publicly thus far.

John Bowden has the story.

Wife of Clarence Thomas donated $15,000 to GOP campaigns, records show

Justice’s wife faces new scrutiny for GOP ties

Josh Marcus22 March 2022 22:36

Why Clarence Thomas looms large over SCOTUS hearings

While all eyes were on Ketanji Brown Jackson on Monday and Tuesday as she appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the news about Justice Clarence Thomas’s health struggle has added a new level of complexity to the discussions.

Holly Baxter writes for The Independent about why Republicans may ramp up their criticism over concerns about preserving a conservative majority on the Court:

Don’t expect Republicans to go easy on Ketanji Brown Jackson | Holly Baxter

This is a Ruth Bader Ginsburg moment for the Republicans – with Clarence Thomas ill, the GOP will be more riled than ever by the liberal track record of the Supreme Court nominee

Josh Marcus22 March 2022 23:00

White House hits back at Hawley over ‘QAnon-signaling smear’ questioning of Ketanji Brown Jackson

Top Republicans like Tennessee’s Martha Blackburn and Missouri’s Josh Hawley have been using Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court to advance the (debunked) theory that the experienced judge has treated sex offenders with too much leniency.

Ms Jackson, who’s currently serving on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, pushed back against this accusation during questioning in the Senate on Tuesday.

“As a mother and a judge who has had to deal with these cases, nothing could be further from the truth,” she said.

A White House spokesman on Tuesday called Senator Josh Hawley’s questioning of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearing a “QAnon-signaling smear,” meant to rile up the Republican base with further conspiratorial insinuations in line with the QAnon movement’s baseless accusations that Democrats are harbouring sex predators.

The Independent is following this breaking news story.

White House calls Hawley questioning of Ketanji Brown Jackson ‘QAnon-signaling smear’

A White House spokesman called Senator Josh Hawley’s questioning of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearing a “QAnon-signaling smear.”

Josh Marcus22 March 2022 23:03

AOC mocks Lindsey Graham after questioning Ketanji Brown Jackson about her faith

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham drew widespread criticism for opening his questions to US Supreme Court justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson by asking about her faith, including whether she can “fairly judge a Catholic” and requesting her to rate the importance of her faith “on a scale of one to 10”.

His remarks, which often cut of Judge Jackson from responding, appeared to suggest that conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated to the high court by Donald Trump, was unfairly treated by his political opponents during her confirmation hearings.

“What faith are you, by the way?” he asked. “Could you fairly judge a Catholic? … I’m just asking this question because – how important is your faith to you?”

“Senator, personally, my faith is very important, but as you know, there’s no religious test in the Constitution,” Judge Jackson responded.

Alex Woodward has the details for The Independent.

AOC mocks Lindsey Graham after questioning Ketanji Brown Jackson about her faith

‘On a scale of one to 10, how faithful would you say you are, in terms of religion?’

Josh Marcus22 March 2022 23:14

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