During Tuesday’s hearing, Jackson addressed and disputed these criticisms by emphasizing his concern for public safety and the rule of law, both as a judge and as an American. She argued that she approaches her work impartially and that personal opinions do not matter.
When pressured by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Jackson avoided a question related to whether she supported the extension of the Supreme Court to include more than nine judges.
“It’s a political issue for Congress,” she said. “I am particularly careful not to talk about political issues because I am so committed to staying in my lane.”
Democrats have so far used the hearings to praise Brown – who would be the first black woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice – as an exceptionally qualified, groundbreaking candidate whose depth and breadth of experience, including as a federal public defender, would add a valuable and unique perspective to the bench.
Jackson describes the process of ‘ruling impartially’ in the midst of GOP issues of legal philosophy
Jackson said Tuesday that she approaches her work in such a way that she ensures impartiality and does not impose personal opinions or political preferences, a claim that comes as Republican senators have expressed concern about legal activism.
“I have developed a method that I use to ensure that I rule impartially and that I adhere to the limits of my judicial authority,” Jackson said.
“When I get a case, I make sure I start from a neutral position,” she said.
“I do not import my personal views or political preferences,” she added.
Later during the hearing, Jackson said, in terms of her approach to judging, “there is no label, I think, that fits what I do and how I have approached my role.”
Asked by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham if she would say she is an activist judge, Jackson replied, “I would not say that.”
Jackson disputes allegations that she is weak in relation to crime: ‘I am deeply concerned about public safety’
“I know what it’s like to have loved ones leave to protect and serve and the fear of not knowing if they will return home because of crime in the community,” she said.
“Crime and the effects on society and the need for law enforcement – these are not abstract concepts or political slogans for me,” she said.
The nominee’s insistence that she cares about public safety comes as Republicans have largely tried to portray her record as weak in terms of crime.
“As a judge, I am very much in favor of the rule of law, and I know that in order for us to have a functioning society, we need to hold people accountable for committing crimes,” she said. “We must do it justly according to our Constitution.”
Jackson discusses advocacy for Guantanamo Bay prisoners
Jackson called the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks “a tragic attack on this country” and paid tribute to military service members.
“After 9/11, there were also lawyers who recognized that our nation’s values were under attack. That we could not let the terrorists win by changing who we were fundamentally.”
“It meant that the people who were accused by our government of taking part in actions related to this, under our constitutional system, had the right to representation, had the right to be treated fairly. That is what makes our system the best in the world, “she said.
Jackson described his work as a public defender, saying, “I was in the Federal Public Defender’s Office right after the Supreme Court ruled that people detained in Guantanamo Bay by the president could apply for a review of their detention.”
She added: “Federal public defenders cannot choose their clients. They must represent whoever comes in and that is a service. That is what you do as a federal public defender, you stand up for the constitutional value of representation. ”
“If you had your will, the executive could not conduct periodic investigations into the danger the detainee poses to the United States, they would have to make a decision to try them or release them, is not that correct?” he asked.
“Respectfully, Senator, that was not my argument,” Jackson said in response. She said she “filed an amicus brief on behalf of clients,” referring to various organizations.
Graham told CNN that it is “fair to say” that he sees red flags with her nomination in an interview after his first round of grilling the nominee, saying her response to defending Guantanamo Bay prisoners “just does not makes sense to me. ” Graham will have the opportunity to ask questions again at the hearing on Wednesday.
Jackson rejects scrutiny of her approach to child pornography crimes
While the Senate is examining the nomination, Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri has expressed concern over Jackson’s record of sentencing in child pornography cases.
Jackson vehemently denied the allegations on Tuesday, referring to the problem as a “sick and violent crime”.
“As a mother and a judge who has had to deal with these cases, I thought nothing could be further from the truth,” said the nominee when Senate Judge Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, was asked to respond On the case. charges.
White House and Senate Democrats have also rejected criticism in defense of Jackson.
“In the vast majority of cases involving child sex crimes, the sentences that Judge Jackson sentenced were in line with or above what the government or the U.S. probationary period recommended,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said last week.
Legal packaging and other key issues
Republican senators have also criticized support for the nomination from left-wing groups and tried to keep Jackson on the hot-button issue of expanding the number of Supreme Court justices sitting on the bench, also known as the court pack, an idea that has won. currency among progressive elements of the Democratic Party.
On Tuesday, Jackson argued that it was not her job to weight a politically sensitive issue.
“In my opinion, judges should not talk about political issues, and certainly not a candidate for a position in the Supreme Court,” she said in response to a question on the issue.
Later in the hearing, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California asked Jackson if she believes Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, is set as a precedent.
What’s next when confirmation hearings are over
Democrats can confirm Jackson to the Supreme Court because of their narrow majority in the Senate, with 50 votes and Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie. The party does not need any Republican support for a successful confirmation, but if any Republicans vote to confirm, it would give the White House a chance to proclaim a bipartisan confirmation.
However, it is not yet clear if Jackson will get any votes from the Republicans.
This story and headline has been updated with further developments on Tuesday.
CNN’s Tierney Sneed, Alex Rogers Joan Biskupic contributed to this report.