Published on :
Ketanji Brown Jackson, Joe Biden’s nominee for the United States Supreme Court, faced attacks from Republican senators on Tuesday during his confirmation hearing. The magistrate did not disassemble.
African-American magistrate Ketanji Brown Jackson vigorously defended herself on Tuesday, February 22, against accusations of laxity towards pedophiles brought by elected Republicans during the examination of her historic candidacy for the Supreme Court.
After several hours of rather polite interrogation before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican Ted Cruz accused her frontally of having throughout her career “advocated for sexual predators”.
The elected official from Texas assured that she had, as a federal judge, “pronounced sentences lower than the requisitions in 100% of the child pornography files” which were submitted to her.
“As a mother, these cases horrified me” and “I still sometimes have nightmares about it”, she retorted, letting a hint of emotion show for the first time. “I have always treated them very seriously, like all other crimes that have come before me.”
Senator Josh Hawley returned to the charge a little later, insisting at length on his decision to sentence a man arrested in possession of child pornography to three months in prison, while prosecutors were asking for at least two years of detention.
He had just left high school and other elements of the file were specific, justified the magistrate. “If you looked more broadly at the hundred or so decisions I have rendered, and those of other judges (…), you would see that we all try to take into account all the relevant factors to deliver justice in an individualized way. “, she added.
Flying to his rescue, several elected Democrats recalled that at the national level, 70% of the sentences handed down in cases of child pornography were lower than the scales set by Congress.
These passes of arms, in a rather purring hearing, should not derail the candidacy of Judge Jackson. Appointed by President Joe Biden to the Supreme Court, this brilliant 51-year-old jurist should, unless surprised, get the green light from the Senate in early April and become the first black woman to sit on the high court.
“Critical Theory of Race”
According to a Politico-Morning Consult poll, 47% of Americans want it confirmed and only 19% oppose it.
Beyond the symbol, his arrival, to replace resigning judge Stephen Breyer, will not change the balance within the temple of American law, where the conservatives will keep a solid majority of six seats out of nine. For all these reasons, most elected Republicans do not fight fiercely to counter his candidacy.
But those with presidential ambitions have used his hearing to echo their favorite themes. Beyond his outburst on pedophiles, Ted Cruz also hinted that Judge Jackson supports “critical race theory.” In the minds of conservatives, this theory is taught in school and forces white children to see themselves as oppressors and black children as victims.
“It is an academic theory which analyzes racism at the institutional level” and “is only taught in my opinion in law school”, she retorted. “But I’ve never studied it or used it in my work as a judge and I won’t if I’m confirmed to the Supreme Court.”
Other elected Republicans have criticized her for having defended Guantanamo detainees or hardened criminals when she was a lawyer in the legal aid services in Washington from 2005 to 2007. In the United States, all accused have the right to a lawyer , she replied: “That’s what makes us great”.
“Members of my family are in the line of fire, so I am very attached to public safety,” she also stressed, recalling that her brother and two of her uncles were or had been police officers.
Saying he was “troubled” by the fact that several “leftist associations” support her candidacy, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham asked her if she was “militant”. “No,” she retorted. “I do not import my personal views or my preferences” in my decisions, she hammered on several occasions.
On political subjects, in accordance with custom, she was evasive. In particular, she refused to comment on the calls, made by several elected officials and left-wing associations, to create new seats within the Supreme Court to dilute the influence of conservative magistrates. “In my opinion, judges should not talk about politics.”