As President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, hit headlines across the nation this past week, reporters noticed multiple U.S. senators questioning Jackson’s ability to perform in the country’s highest court.
On Monday, March 21, Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings officially began. Per usual, senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee began their rounds of questioning as politicians on both sides tried to ensure the Supreme Court will not become overly politicized with the addition of a new Associate Justice.
While topics like defining gender terms, activist judges and court-packing came about during the proceedings, U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Sen. Ted Cruz have become the main vessels for voicing concern over Jackson’s appointment to the Court. An article published by the Washington Examiner delves into this when, on the topic of parental involvement in public school athletic activities, Blackburn said “parents are concerned about a ‘progressive agenda’ in public schools.”
According to the article, Blackburn said American parents “need a Supreme Court Justice who will protect our children and will defend parents’ constitutional right to decide what is best for their own kids.”
Blackburn brought forth a hot topic in America, one that needs a proper lawful response. Blackburn asked Jackson if she would faithfully apply the Constitution to the interpretations of the Court, not political motives or political pressure from one group or another. Cruz echoed this point in his intense questioning.
On Tuesday, March 22, Blackburn again circled back to the topic of parental involvement in public school athletic activities, specifically in response to the topic of transgender athletes. Blackburn asked Jackson to define the word “woman.” Jackson responded, “I don’t know,” and “I’m not a biologist.”
Many Americans wonder what this line of questioning has to do with assessing qualifications to the Supreme Court, giving rise to speculation that Blackburn’s questioning relates to how Jackson could possibly rule, for example, on cases involving the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
In such cases, a Justice would need to face facts and leave activism and opinions at the door, which Jackson has clarified she will do if appointed an Associate Justice.
According to a recently published Axios article, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell provided his reasons for declining Jackson’s confirmation, citing “Jackson deflected questions on judicial philosophy and he could not support her because she is backed by groups that advocate for court-packing.”
In the same Axios article, Sen. Joe Manchin expressed his support for Jackson’s confirmation, which shows the Senate will lean towards confirming Jackson to the country’s highest tribunal.
The Senate Judiciary Committee as well as the full Senate is scheduled to have the confirmation vote on Monday, April 4th.
America watches and waits for the Senate’s decision on whether or not Jackson possesses the ability and expertise to be a key proponent in upholding, applying and interpreting federal law and the United States Constitution.