Ketanji Brown Jackson, U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, on Wednesday again defended her record to Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on her third day of confirmation hearings.
Wednesday’s hearing followed a marathon session Tuesday that went well into the evening. During that question-and-answer session, Democrats spent much of their allotted time speaking cordially with Jackson rather than asking more questions.
Republicans, on the other hand, cross-examined the first Black women ever nominated for the nation’s highest court, highlighting what they believe is her liberal record and suggesting she is soft on crime.
Republicans returned to that theme Wednesday, with Senator Thom Tillis suggesting Jackson possessed a kind nature that made her too lenient in sentencing decisions as a federal trial judge.
Jackson gave a lengthy response, saying she often sought to explain to defendants the impact of their actions, with the aim of reducing the likelihood that they would commit more crimes upon their release.
Republican Senator Lindsay Graham was more combative as he continued to ask Jackson about her sentencing decisions as a judge, repeatedly interrupting her when she tried to answer. He also brought up the contentious 2018 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
A friendlier questioner, Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, asked Jackson why she felt it was important for U.S. democratic institutions such as the courts to reflect the diversity of the nation.
Jackson answered that among other reasons, it “bolsters public confidence in our system.”
“We have a diverse society in the United States. There are people from all over who come to this great nation and make their lives,” she said.
Thursday, the third and final day of the committee hearings, was to feature testimony from outside witnesses.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.