Ketanji Brown Jackson Grilled At Senate Confirmation Hearing On Pornography & Critical Race Theory
On Tuesday, Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson made it through a marathon second day of her confirmation hearing. Senators questioned her on everything from child pornography to judicial activism.
Each Judiciary Committee member received the opportunity to question Jackson for 30 minutes.
During the hearing, Jackson made it clear that she did not adopt any labels to describe her judicial philosophy. Multiple senators urged her to answer whether her philosophy leaned more toward “originalism,” in the mold of late Justice Antonin Scalia, who believed that the Constitution should be interpreted as the founders wrote or “living Constitution,” meaning that other circumstances should be considered, which is a philosophy that Justice Stephen Breyer has adopted. She vowed to leave out her personal views when interpreting the Constitution.
“I don’t really have a justice that I have molded myself after,” she said in response to a question from Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska). “I’m reluctant to establish or to adopt a particular label.”
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), questioned Jackson over her views on critical race theory.
“It doesn’t come up in my work as a judge. It’s never something that I’ve studied or relied on,” she responded. “And it wouldn’t be something that I would rely on if I was on the Supreme Court.”
Cruz made efforts to tie Jackson to critical race theory by bringing up curriculum from a school that she is on the board of that he said points to the idea that “babies are racist.” She rejected the idea and responded that she is not responsible for the school’s curriculum.
Jackson also faced questions from Republican senators over her sentencing record regarding child pornography cases. She turned the issue back to Congress, telling the committee that if they felt she was too lenient against defendants, they should look at the 1984 law that outlines the factors judges have to consider.
“The evidence in these cases are egregious,” Jackson argued. “The evidence in these cases are among the worst that I have seen and, yet, as Congress directs, judges do not calculate the guidelines and stop. They have to take into account the personal circumstances of the defendant because that is a requirement of Congress.”
“You all decide — you decide what the penalties are. You decide what the factors are that judges use to sentence,” she added.