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Sen. Josh Hawley voices concerns as Supreme Court confirmation hearings begin

The U.S. Senate on Monday will begin Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. With Democrats in narrow control of the Senate and Jackson receiving three Republican votes in the past for her confirmation to a federal appellate court, Jackson heads into the hearings on a solid path toward confirmation, Fox News reported.

However, Republicans don’t intend to let her off easy, raising concerns on everything from her past work as a public defender representing Guantanamo Bay detainees and whether she was too lenient on sex offenders as a district court judge.

“The problem is I haven’t been able to find a single case where she has had a child porn offender, a pedophile in front of her, where she hasn’t given him the most lenient sentence she possibly could,” Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said.

The White House has dismissed Hawley’s claims as a conspiracy theory.

“Judge Jackson is a proud mother of two whose nomination has been endorsed by leading law enforcement organizations, conservative judges and survivors of crime,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said. “This is toxic and weakly-presented misinformation that relies on taking cherry-picked elements of her record out of context, and it buckles under the lightest scrutiny.”

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Democrats, meanwhile, have touted what they say are Jackson’s stellar credentials, evenhanded judicial record and bipartisan support. Jackson has been endorsed by Judge Thomas Griffith, a well-known, retired conservative federal judge, as well as law enforcement groups such as the Fraternal Order of Police

Jackson is a Harvard Law School graduate who most recently was confirmed last spring in a 53-44 vote to serve on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She previously was a Senate-confirmed federal district court judge, member of the United States Sentencing Commission, a federal public defender and a private attorney at four elite law firms.

If confirmed, Judge Jackson will make history, fulfilling President Biden’s campaign promise to name the first Black woman to the Supreme Court. She would succeed the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, for whom she once clerked.

The ideological makeup of the court will remain the same with a 6-3 split in favor of justices appointed by Republican presidents. The Supreme Court in the coming months will be deciding hot-button issues such abortion access, gun rights, religious liberty disputes, immigration limits and affirmative action.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice