Ketanji Brown Jackson takes questions on day 3 of Supreme Court confirmation hearings

Ketanji Brown Jackson takes questions on day 3 of Supreme Court confirmation hearings

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Washington — Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is back before senators for the third day of her confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, fielding a final round of questions about her time on the federal bench and hot-button issues that could come before her as a justice.

Republicans continued lines of questioning on Wednesday regarding Jackson’s handling of child pornography cases during her time as a federal judge in U.S. district court and Jackson again defended her record, explaining her approach to cases and rebutting suggestions that she imposed lenient sentences.

Jackson, 51, would make history as the first Black woman appointed to the Supreme Court if confirmed. She appears likely to be easily confirmed, as Democrats control the Senate and are pushing to quickly approve her nomination in the coming weeks.

While Democrats have generally given Jackson time to expand on her background over the course of questioning, Republicans repeatedly pressed her on some of the biggest culture war issues: critical race theory, gender, abortion, increasing the number of justices on the Supreme Court and her representation of Guantanamo Bay detainees. 

On Tuesday, Jackson faced a barrage of questions from Republican senators about her sentencing record in child pornography cases. Jackson stressed that the crimes committed were “horrific” and “horrible,” yet she noted that trial judges assigned these cases must adhere to parameters laid out in federal statutes by Congress.

“In every case, I did my duty to hold the defendants accountable in light of the evidence and the information that was presented to me,” Jackson said. “The evidence in these cases are egregious. The evidence in these cases are among the worst that I have seen, and yet, as Congress directs, judges don’t just calculate the guidelines and stop. Judges have to take into account the personal circumstances of the defendant because that’s a requirement of Congress.”

President Biden nominated Jackson last month to replace liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, who, at 83, is the oldest justice on the Supreme Court. Breyer will retire at the end of this term. 

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