Jackson Promises Equal Justice

Supreme Court nominee tells Senate committee she'll be impartial
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 21, 2022 8:10 PM CDT
Jackson Promises Equal Justice
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in during her confirmation hearing Monday.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson pledged on Monday to decide cases "without fear or favor" if the Senate confirms her historic nomination as the first Black woman on the high court. Jackson, 51, thanked God and professed love for "our country and the Constitution" in a 12-minute statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of her first day of confirmation hearings, nearly four hours almost entirely consumed by remarks from the panel's 22 members. Republicans promised pointed questions over the coming two days, with a special focus on her record on criminal matters. Democrats were full of praise for President Biden's Supreme Court nominee.

With her family sitting behind her, her husband in socks bearing George Washington's likeness, Jackson stressed that she has been independent, deciding cases "from a neutral posture" in her nine years as a judge, and that she is ever mindful of the importance of that role. "I have dedicated my career to ensuring that the words engraved on the front of the Supreme Court building—equal justice under law—are a reality and not just an ideal," she declared. Barring a significant misstep, Democrats who control the Senate by the slimmest of margins intend to wrap up her confirmation before Easter.

Her testimony Tuesday and Wednesday will give most Americans, as well as the Senate, their most extensive look yet at the Harvard-trained lawyer with a broader resume than many nominees. She would be the first justice with significant criminal defense experience since Thurgood Marshall. She also expressed her thanks and love to her husband, Patrick Jackson, a surgeon in Washington who wiped away tears. Their two daughters, one in college and the other in high school, sat in the audience beside him. Her parents and in-laws also were in attendance.

(Read more Ketanji Brown Jackson stories.)

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