Biden Supreme Court nominee – Americans deserve answers from Ketanji Brown Jackson

Too often, federal judges have disregarded clear meaning of the Constitution’s text

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A Supreme Court nomination is a legacy-defining moment for any president of the United States. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees all nominations to the federal bench, I recognize the gravity of filling a lifelong Supreme Court vacancy and the tremendous impact a justice can have on our country. 

Given President Biden’s disastrous track record only one year into office, the American people should have serious concerns over whom he personally chooses to ascend to the highest court in the land. I pray that President Biden has shown better judgment in nominating a Supreme Court justice than he exhibited in the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, his reluctance to address inflation, or his failed attempts to remake the American economy through socialist legislation. But given these repeated failures, I simply cannot give President Biden the benefit of the doubt. 

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks after President Joe Biden announced her nomination to the Supreme Court on Feb. 25, 2022. 

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks after President Joe Biden announced her nomination to the Supreme Court on Feb. 25, 2022.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Biden has nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, and at first glance, Judge Jackson has impressive credentials. She holds degrees from prestigious institutions, clerked for the justice she seeks to replace, and currently serves on the D.C. Circuit Court.  

BIDEN'S SUPREME COURT NOMINEE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON HAS A CONSTITUTIONAL PROBLEM

But a Supreme Court justice should not be confirmed on resume alone – the American people deserve to know Judge Jackson’s views on the rule of law, the proper role of the judiciary, and most importantly, the Constitution of the United States.  

The Senate must not blindly confirm a justice who will merely serve as a rubber stamp for a radical progressive agenda or worse, that advances that agenda by making law from the bench. 

Judge Jackson must be committed to upholding the rule of law and the Constitution as written. A justice who fails to anchor her decisions in the Constitution is legally adrift, guided only by politics and her own personal policy preferences and worldview.  

My Republican colleagues and I will be demanding a thorough, thoughtful and fair process.

Too often, federal justices and judges have disregarded the clear meaning of the Constitution’s text and instead injected their own policy views into our law, thereby subverting the will of the people. This form of legislating from the bench has no place in our American system of government. Judge Jackson must answer whether she believes the words of the Constitution have enduring meaning or whether she thinks they can simply be twisted to fit her desired outcome in any given case. 

Our country is suffering under a terrible crime wave brought on by the soft-on-criminals philosophy of progressive prosecutors. These prosecutors, many of them former public defenders, are bankrolled by a network of progressive groups seeking to advance their radical agenda of putting violent criminals back on the streets. As a former public defender herself – and one who has secured the support of these same progressive groups that are helping to fuel the crime surge – Judge Jackson must clearly articulate her views on this critical issue. 

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Perhaps most importantly, the American people have a right to know if Judge Jackson will capitulate to a growing chorus within the Democratic Party that is calling on Congress to pack the Supreme Court. Justice Stephen Breyer, for whom Judge Jackson clerked and who she would replace if confirmed, made clear that he opposed the idea of packing the court, saying that such a move would fundamentally undermine Americans’ trust in the court’s decisions. On this point, Justice Breyer was exactly right.  

While I have strong disagreements with Justice Breyer on his judicial philosophy, I am grateful that he chose to stand firmly against the radical mob that is threatening to dismantle the institutional legitimacy of our nation’s highest court for pure political gain. Judge Jackson should similarly reject the Democrats’ calls to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court. Anything less is disqualifying. 

The American people should hear answers to these and many other questions from Judge Jackson. Our Founders gave the Senate the power of advice and consent specifically so that it could serve as a check on executive appointments, not blindly confirm whomever the president sent its way.  

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Senate Democrats may be all too willing to support Judge Jackson’s confirmation, regardless of her views on the rule of law and the Constitution. As a mom and a grandmom, I have a duty to safeguard the liberties and individual freedoms of our future generations. I will fight for families, not big government, to have control over their own decisions.  

My Republican colleagues and I will be demanding a thorough, thoughtful and fair process. The American people deserve nothing less. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN