• Gallup Poll finds 58% of Americans back Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
  • Judge says life experiences would shape Supreme Court approach.
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham reasserts grievance about treating of past nominees of GOP presidents.
  • Jackson on child pornography offenses: “I know how serious this crime is.”

WASHINGTON – Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson explained her sentencing practices and her views on expanding the Supreme Court, among other topics, during a second day of questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, as hearings continue over her historic nomination to be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court

Senators asked the judge about a wide range of topics Tuesday, including about her judicial philosophy, her faith, her work as a former federal public defender and sentences she handed down as a District Court judge in Washington

Wednesday’s hearing began with two senators finishing up their first round of questions, before moving into a second round – slightly shorter – with questions from the committee’s 22 members.

Democrats are planning to finish the hearings on Thursday and hope to move Jackson to a final confirmation vote by early April. 

Jackson’s first day:Jackson fights back against GOP criticism over sentencing, Gitmo 

Supreme Court Associate Justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee during her confirmation hearing on March 23, 2022 in Washington. Judge Jackson was nominated by President Joe Biden to replace Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, who plans to retire at the end of the term. If confirmed, Judge Jackson will be the first Black woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court.

Jackson: Important to hear arguments

Responding to a question from Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., about the court’s so-called shadow docket, Jackson said she believes it’s important to hear from the parties involved in a case.

“You make determinations based on arguments, and it’s important to do so,” Jackson said.

That rarely happens on the Supreme Court’s emergency docket because those cases usually must be decided before the court has a chance to hear arguments. Klobuchar noted the court handed down a new emergency decision on Wednesday as the hearing was underway, an unsigned opinion that will require Wisconsin courts to redraw their legislative boundaries.

More:U.S. Supreme Court throws out Wisconsin’s redistricting plan for legislative maps

In a separate case. the Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to block the state’s congressional maps.

The justices did not hear arguments in either case.

“There’s a need to balance getting full briefing with emergency circumstances,” Jackson said. “It’s also my understanding, from my time clerking on the court, that the court does recognize the value of allowing things to what we call ‘percolate,’ meaning lower courts (can) hear issues,” she said.

– John Fritze

Lee questions Jackson on personal court-packing opinion

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, pressed Jackson on her personal view of court-packing.

“I understand that the canons of judicial ethics don’t allow you to comment on matters that might come before you; this is one that could not come before you as a justice,” Lee said.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 23: U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Jackson in response reiterated her discomfort with providing her personal opinion in a professional capacity.

“I’m a human being and I have an opinion on a lot of things,” Jackson said. “The reason why, in my view, it is not appropriate for me to comment is because of my fidelity to the judicial role. 

The Utah senator pushed back, noting again that the question of court-packing would not come before her (Congress would make the decision) and that he believes she could provide a “valuable” perspective because of her experience as a federal judge.

– Ella Lee

Cornyn hints at overturning Roe while questioning Jackson

GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas asked Jackson if she feels there’s any good reason for the Supreme Court not to overrule a previous decision or overturn precedent, hinting at a possible move to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“The Supreme Court has laid out factors beyond just the precedent being wrong as a reason to overturn it,” Jackson said. 

“All precedence of the Supreme Court has to be respected,” she later added.

The senator then questioned Jackson on the medical meaning of “viability” and the number of weeks at which a fetus is viable, and Jackson said she hadn’t studied the specific issue.