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Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson Faces Intense Questioning

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On the second day of her historic confirmation hearings, Ketanji Brown Jackson, the nominee to the Supreme Court nominated by President Joe Biden, defended her judicial record against tough questions from Republican senators.

In their criticism of the nominee for the Supreme Court, the Republicans have focused on some of her past defense work as well as raised concerns over her judicial philosophy through warnings against activism and dictating policy from the bench.

As a judge and an American citizen, Jackson emphasized her concern for public safety and the rule of law during Tuesday’s hearing. Her work is based on a neutral stance, and she does not take into account her personal opinions.

The top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, pressed Jackson on whether she supported expanding the Supreme Court to include more than nine justices during her remarks. Jackson shied away from answering the question.

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“This is a policy question for the Congress,” she said. Since I am so dedicated to staying within the boundaries of my sphere, I am extremely careful to refrain from speaking on policy issues.”

In the past few days, Democrats have used the hearings as an opportunity to praise Brown — the first ever Black woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice — as an exceptionally qualified, trail-breaking nominee whose depth and breadth of experience, including her time as a federal public defender, would bring a unique perspective to the bench.

During the first day of the hearings, both senators on the committee and the nominee began by making opening statements. There will be two full days of questioning on Capitol Hill starting Tuesday morning, and continuing until Wednesday night. The questioning is expected to be the most contentious part of the public vetting process.

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