US Supreme Court: facing senators, Judge Jackson promises to defend democracy

Published on :

Proposed by President Joe Biden to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson appeared on Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee which must examine her candidacy. She sought to reassure on her independence and promised to protect democracy if her appointment was confirmed.

Appointed by Joe Biden to the Supreme Court of the United States, Ketanji Brown Jackson promised on Monday March 21 that she would defend “the great American democratic experiment”, if she became the first black woman to sit in the influential institution.

With an assured voice, the 51-year-old judge insisted on her “independence” and her “neutrality” during introductory remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee responsible for examining her candidacy, broadcast live on American television channels. .

Without insisting on the historical dimension of her appointment, she paid tribute to all those who helped her rise to this level, starting with her parents: “After having personally experienced racial segregation” […] “They taught me that unlike them – who had faced many obstacles – if I worked hard, in America I could become anyone I wanted.”

“Bringing very different people together”

She also praised the “integrity, civic-mindedness and grace” of progressive judge Stephen Breyer, whom she is called upon to replace at the start of the next school year, and of whom she was an assistant when she left Harvard University. For him, the law aims to “make very different people live together”, she recalled. “If I am confirmed, I hope to have the same state of mind.”

The magistrate spoke after the 22 senators of the commission who, in unison, hailed the “historic nature of her appointment”. Of the 115 judges who have served on the High Court, there have been only two black men and five women – none of them African-American, several of them recalled.

“Today is a day of joy”, launched the black democratic senator Cory Booker: the Senate is about to bring down a new glass ceiling!

Beyond the symbol, his arrival will not change the balance within the temple of Law, where conservative judges will retain a comfortable majority of six seats out of nine.

“Political Circus”

With Democrats in control of the Senate, the magistrate has a good chance of being confirmed in a vote, likely in early April. As during her confirmation at the Federal Court of Appeals in Washington, she could even obtain a few Republican votes.

But before that, she will have to face a tight interrogation on Tuesday and Wednesday from opposition politicians. In their opening statements Monday, Republicans promised to be “respectful,” while outlining their angle of attack.

The question-and-answer session “will not be a political circus” and will “not deal with the racial question, but with substantive subjects”, promised Senator Ted Cruz who, like other members of the commission, caresses presidential ambitions.

Seven months before the midterm elections, Republican senators are expected to put a lot of emphasis on their campaign themes, starting with President Biden’s supposed laxity in the face of soaring crime. To do so, they began to prey on Judge Jackson’s unique experience in the criminal justice system.

“History will judge”

Unique fact for a candidate for the Supreme Court: she worked as a lawyer in legal aid services and, as such, represented destitute defendants. She also served on a commission to make recommendations on federal sentencing.

“You have always wanted more freedom for hardened criminals,” elected Marsha Blackburn told him, while another said he was “troubled” by his defense, as a lawyer, of certain Guantanamo detainees.

Senator Josh Hawley for his part accused her of having, once she became a judge, retained low sentences in cases of child pornography.

Anticipating these attacks, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin called on them to be restrained: “I ask each member of this commission to think about how history will judge them”.

“Because of the historical dimension of the photo […]we would be racists if we asked difficult questions?”, reacted Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. “But that will not take with us, we are used to it”, he continued, promising a vigorous debate.

With AFP

Leave a Reply