1 min agoJackson: Roe and Casey are “settled law of the Supreme Court”From CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi
(Sarah Silbiger for CNN)Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said that the two Supreme Court decisions that secured the right to abortion for women in America are “settled law” of the court.
“I do agree with both Justice (Brett) Kavanaugh and Justice (Amy Coney) Barrett on Roe and Casey are the settled law of the Supreme Court concerning the right to terminate a woman’s pregnancy,” Jackson told Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Jackson went on to say that the two cases “established a framework that the court has reaffirmed and in order to revisit, as Justice Barrett said, the Supreme Court looks at various factors because stare decisis is a very important principle.”
She said that the concept of stare decisis “provides and establishes predictability, stability, it also serves as a restraint in this way on the exercise of judicial authority because the court looks at whether or not precedents are relied upon, whether they’re workable, in addition to whether or not they’re wrong.”
However, it makes no difference what a nominee — liberal or conservative — says about the fact that Roe v. Wade is settled precedent. That’s because a Supreme Court justice, unlike a lower court judge, can vote to overturn precedent.
The court is expected to issue a major ruling this summer that could overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in a case involving a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
43 min agoJackson says she is a nondenominational protestant in response to an inquiry about her religious faithFrom CNN’s Mike Hayes
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham began his questioning of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson by asking her what religious faith she subscribes to. She responded that she is a nondenominational protestant.
Judge Jackson told Graham that while her faith is very important to her, “as you know, there’s no religious test in the Constitution under Article VI.”
“And it’s very important to set aside one’s personal views about things in the role of a judge,” she said.
Graham continued, asking the judge “how faithful would you say you are?” She said that she was “reluctant” to talk about her faith because she believed it is important that when evaluating her qualifications the public can “separate out my personal views.”
“Well, senator, I am reluctant to talk about my faith in this way just because I want to be mindful of the need for the public to have confidence in my ability to separate out my personal views.”
1 hr 24 min agoJackson refutes claims she is soft on crime: “I care deeply about public safety”From CNN’s Mike Hayes
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy, Democrat from Vermont, about accusations that she is “soft on crime or even anti law enforcement” because she worked as a public defender during her career.
Jackson noted in her response that she has multiple family members who have worked as police officers. She said that her brother worked as a police officer in Baltimore, and has two uncles who had careers in law enforcement — one who became the Chief of Police of the City of Miami Police Department in the 1990s.
“As someone who has had family members on patrol and in the line of fire, I care deeply about public safety. I know what it’s like to have loved ones who go off to protect and to serve and the fear of not knowing whether or not they’re going to come home again because of crime in the community.”She said that crime, its effects on the community, and the need for law enforcement “are not abstract concepts or political slogans to me.”
Jackson went on to say that as a lawyer and as a citizen, “I care deeply about our Constitution and the rights that make us free.”
“As you say, criminal defense lawyers perform a service and our system is exemplary throughout the world precisely because we ensure that people who are accused of crimes are treated fairly,” she said to Leahy and the committee.
She said that it’s important to her that people are “held accountable for committing crimes, but we have to do so fairly, under our Constitution.”
“As a judge who has to decide how to handle these cases, I know it’s important to have arguments from both sides, to have competent counsel and it doesn’t mean that lawyers condone the behavior of their clients. They’re making arguments on behalf of their clients, in defense of the Constitution and in service of the court. And it is a service.”
Read more about her record on crime here:
1 hr 38 min agoWhy judges have an issue with sentencing guidelines in child porn casesFrom CNN’s Tierney Sneed
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said that the guidance that Congress has given courts for sentencing certain child porn offenders “appears to be not consistent with how these crimes are committed,” and therefore creating “extreme disparity” in the sentences that are being handed down.
Her comments marked the first time she weighed in on why judges are often deviating from the statutory sentencing guidelines in these cases. Jackson said that the current guidelines – which are created by statute but, under Supreme Court precedent, are not binding on judges – are now “leading to extreme disparities in the system.”
The guidelines escalate based on volume of material, a metric that no longer takes into account the technology advances since the statute was enacted, according to those in favor of revising the guidelines.“It is not doing the work of differentiating who is the more serious offender in the way that it used to,” Jackson said. Courts “are adjusting their sentences in order to account for the changed circumstances, but it says nothing about the courts’ view of the seriousness of this offense.”
Ahead of her hearings, several former judges, lawyers and other legal experts have defended Jackson’s record on these cases. Republicans have also zeroed in on the work she did as a vice chair of the US Sentencing Commission, when it issued a 2012 report calling on Congress to revise the guidelines to realign the sentences based on the type of child porn offense and to lower the mandatory minimums of two categories of offenses. Those recommendations were issued unanimously by the commission, which included GOP appointees.
The courts’ “ultimate charge” from Congress “is to sentence in a way that is sufficient but not greater than necessary to promote the purposes of punishment,” Jackson said Tuesday.
1 hr 34 min agoJackson defends her prior role representing Guantanamo Bay detaineesFrom CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi
(Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images)Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson defended her advocacy for Guantanamo Bay detainees, a part of her record that Republicans have expressed skepticism over and are likely to question her about.
“Federal public defenders don’t get to pick their clients. They have to represent whoever comes in, and it is a service. That’s what you do as a federal public defender, you are standing up for the constitutional value of representation,” Jackson said in response to a question from Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin.Jackson said there were lawyers who after 9/11 “recognized we couldn’t let the terrorists win by changing who we were fundamentally” and that meant that those accused by the US government of having engaged in the September 11 attacks, under the Constitution, we
The two decisions that secured the right to abortion in America are established, Jackson said on day 2 of her hearings
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