Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings wrap up (includes video story)

The confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ended this past Thursday, concluding what has, at times, been a contentious process.

Republican Senators spent much of their time discussing Jackson’s judicial record in child pornography cases, with Lindsey Graham and Josh Hawley, in particular, taking special interest in this aspect of her career. 

They specifically targeted seven cases during her eight years as a federal trial court judge. In them, Jackson lower sentences. Hawley asked, “Do you regret it?”

Jackson promptly responded to his question by stating, “What I regret is that in a hearing about my qualifications to be a justice on the Supreme Court, we’ve spent a lot of time focusing on this small subset of my sentences.”

As the hearings proceeded, Republican Senators grew more hostile, both towards Jackson and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin. Senators Ted Cruz, Hawley, and Graham all interrupted and argued with Durbin. 

On the other side of the aisle, many Democratic senators provided Jackson with opportunities to push back against Republican questioning. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker delivered an emotional speech, highlighting the historical significance of Jackson’s nomination. 

“When that final vote happens, and you ascend onto the highest court in the land; I’m going to rejoice. I’m going to tell you right now, the greatest country in the world, the United States of America, will be better because of you,” said a passionate Booker.

Both hearing dates involving Jackson were bookended with Republicans covering broader cultural topics such as critical race theory, gender identity, and immigration. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee will resume on Monday, where they will plan to vote either in favor or against her nomination. If the majority of the committee votes in favor, then it will move onto the full Senate with the committee’s recommendation for a final vote.

Fabio Lopez is an undergraduate student at Florida International University. He transferred from Miami-Dade College with an Associates Degree in Mass Communication. Currently, he is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Broadcasting. Lopez is an Assistant Director for the student-led newspaper PantherNOW Sports. He is also a communications intern for Inter Miami and a member of the FIU Honors College.