• Ryan Higgins

Supreme Court Nominee Ketnaji Brown Jackson




Tuesday, March 22nd, marks day two of the supreme court confirmation hearings regarding Kentaji Brown Jackson. Brown has done well in interviews with the Senate judiciary committee even getting emotional when talking about her appreciation for her family in D.C. Wednesday, March 23rd will be the final day of the interview for Jackson. The final day of hearings, however, will be Thursday, March 24th, and this session will not have Jackson present. During the Thursday sessions, members of the American Bar Association will be interviewed by members of the committee. If the status quo stays as is, Jackson will be the first black woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States and according to Article III of the U.S. constitution, if confirmed, it’ll stand for life.


If appointed, she will begin in the month of June, filling the seat of 28-year veteran Stephen Gerald Breyer. When being interviewed on her role and outlook on constitutional interpretation, Jackson gave this quote: "to figure out what the words mean as they were intended by the people who wrote them." This gives a clear hint at Jackson having an originalist approach to constitutional matters. A caveat to this is that this response from Jackson was a political move in order to satisfy republicans. Jackson endured more than twelve hours total on March 22nd. Jackson has played it relatively safe in her days of questioning likely to appease republicans.


While Jackson was able to effectively wiggle around certain tough questions by giving somewhat vague responses, republican senators are suspicious of her judicial philosophy. Jackson has been accused of being “anti-police” and “soft on crime.” Jackson’s retort to these claims was “I care deeply about public safety” also saying that she has relatives that work for the police department.

On April 7th Jackson was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 53-47. She is the 116th Justice to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. The democrats, who technically hold a senate minority, all voted according to party lines. The democratic party received support from both independents as well as three republicans. Amy Howe on the SCOTUS blog attributes the slim margin of victory to “the current polarization surrounding the politics of judicial confirmations.” Jackson’s confirmation was inevitable, she goes on to mention. Howe attributes this to her support from conservative lawyers and law enforcement groups.


Amy Howe, In historic first, Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed to Supreme Court, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 7, 2022, 3:43 PM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2022/04/in-historic-first-ketanji-brown-jackson-is-confirmed-to-supreme-court/


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