(WASHINGTON) — Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, faces up to 11 hours of grilling Tuesday on Day 2 of her four-day confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Jackson, 51, who currently sits on the nation’s second most powerful court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, will be questioned by each of the committee’s 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats over two days, starting Tuesday. On Thursday, senators can ask questions of the American Bar Association and other outside witnesses.


While Democrats have the votes to confirm President Joe Biden’s first Supreme Court nominee on their own, and hope to by the middle of April, the hearings could prove critical to the White House goal of securing at least some Republican support and shoring up the court’s credibility.

Here is how the news is developing Tuesday. Check back for updates:

Mar 22, 10:38 am
Jackson stresses her record as an ‘independent jurist’


As she reintroduces herself to the American public as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ranking Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked Jackson what aspect of her record as a judge does she believe has been the most important for the good of the country.

“Well, I think that all of my record is important to some degree because I think it clearly demonstrates that I’m an independent jurist, that I am ruling in every case consistent with the methodologies that I’ve described, that I’m impartial,” Jackson said.

“I don’t think anyone could look at my record and say that it is pointing in one direction or another or that it is supporting one viewpoint or another. I am doing the work and have done the work for the past 10 years that judges do to rule impartially and to stay within the boundaries of our proper judicial role,” she added.


Trying to hone in further on her judicial philosophy, Grassley asked, of the previous 115 justices, are there any of them now or in the past that has a judicial philosophy that most closely resembles her own. She said she hasn’t studied the philosophies of all of the prior justices but that her background as a trial judge resembles that of left-leaning Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

“I will say that I come to this position, to this moment as a judge who comes from practice — that I was a trial judge and my methodology has developed in this context. I don’t know how many other justices other than Justice Sotomayor have that same background,” she said.

Jackson has also emphasized in previous confirmations hearings that she does not have a judicial philosophy per se, but she applies the same methodology to all the cases she approaches, regardless of its parties.


-ABC News’ Trish Turner

Mar 22, 10:14 am
Grassley grills Jackson on ‘court-packing’

Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, tried to get more clarity on whether Judge Jackson would support the idea of expanding the Supreme Court beyond nine justices, but Jackson said that was a policy question she couldn’t answer.


The question comes after several Republicans said Monday they were disappointed that Jackson hasn’t clarified her position on court-packing after she received the support of the progressive group Demand Justice, which is pushing for the court’s expansion.

“Respectfully, senator, other nominees to the Supreme Court have responded as I will, which is that it is a policy question for Congress,” Jackson said. “I am particularly mindful of not speaking to policy issues because I am so committed to staying in my lane of the system. Because I’m just not willing to speak to issues that are properly in the province of this body.”

Presented with the fact that retiring Justice Stephen Breyer and the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated their views on the position, Grassley then asked if the Supreme Court has been bought by dark money groups.


“Senator, I don’t have any reason to believe that that’s the case,” she replied. “I have only the highest esteem for the members of the Supreme Court whom I hope to be able to join, if I’m confirmed, and for all of the members of the judiciary.”

Mar 22, 9:58 am
Jackson discusses representing Gitmo detainees

Continuing to give Judge Jackson opportunities to respond to GOP attacks, Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., also asked her what impact representing Guantanamo Bay detainees had on her judicial career after Republicans made clear they will take aim at those cases she was assigned as a federal public defender.


“September 11th was a tragic attack on this country. We all lived through it,” she began. “We saw what happened, and there were many defenses, important defenses that Americans undertook. There were Americans whose service came in the form of military action. My brother was one of those Americans, those brave Americans who decided to join the military to defend our country.”

“After 9/11, there were also lawyers who recognized that our nation’s values were under attack, that we couldn’t let the terrorists win by changing who we were fundamentally,” she continued. “And what that meant was that the people who were being accused by our government of having engaged in actions related to this, under our Constitutional scheme, were entitled to representation — were entitled to be treated fairly. That’s what makes our system the best in the world. That’s what makes us exemplary.”

She reminded the committee that federal public defenders don’t get to pick their clients but said, “You are standing up for the constitutional value of representation — and so I represented, as an appellate defender, some of those detainees.”


Mar 22, 9:50 am
Addressing Hawley attacks, Jackson recalls story she tells child porn offenders

In his questioning, Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill, criticized attacks from Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who accused Jackson Monday of a “long record” of letting child porn offenders “off the hook” in sentencing. Noting that several independent fact-checkers, including ABC News, have found the claims misleading, Durbin gave Jackson a chance to respond by asking what was going through her mind when Hawley leveled that criticism Monday.

“As a mother and a judge who has had to deal with these cases, I was thinking that nothing could be further from the truth,” Jackson said, taking a tough tone. “These are some of the most difficult cases that a judge has to deal with because we’re talking about pictures of sex abuse of children. We’re talking about graphic descriptions that judges have to read and consider when they decide how to sentence in these cases, and there’s a statute that tells judges what they’re supposed to do.”


She noted that federal sentencing laws are set by Congress, and the statute says, “Calculate the guidelines, but also look at various aspects of this offense, and impose a sentence that is, quote, sufficient but not greater than necessary to promote the purposes of punishment,” she said.

Calling the crimes “sickening and egregious,” Jackson went on to recall a story she said she tells every child porn defendant “when I look in the eyes of a defendant who is weeping because I’m giving him a significant sentence.”

“What I say to him is, ‘Do you know that there is someone who has written to me and who has told me that she has developed agoraphobia? She can not leave her house because she thinks that everyone she meets will have seen her, will have seen her pictures on the internet. They’re out there forever. At the most vulnerable time of her life, and so she’s paralyzed,” she said.


“I tell that story to every child porn defendant, as a part of my sentencing, so that they understand what they have done. I say to them that there’s only a market for this kind of material because there are lookers. That you are contributing to child sex abuse. And then I impose a significant sentence, and all of the additional restraints that are available in the law,” she continued in an emotional riff. “I am imposing all of those constraints because I understand how significant, how damaging, how horrible this crime is.”

Jackson noted that in addition to prison terms of many years for the crimes, she also requires “20, 30, 40 years of supervision” and that the offenders “can’t use computers for decades.”

Mar 22, 9:33 am
Jackson addresses her judicial philosophy


Hoping to disarm GOP attacks, Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., posed the first question to Judge Jackson and gave her the opportunity to address her judicial philosophy after Republicans on Monday swiped at her for claiming previously that she doesn’t have one.

“So would you like to comment at the outset, of those who are looking for a label, what your position is on judicial philosophy?” Durbin said.

Jackson replied that she has developed a methodology that she uses when approaching any case “to ensure that I am ruling impartially and that I am adhering to the limit on my judicial authority.”


“I am acutely aware that as a judge in our system, I have limited power, and I am trying, in every case, to stay in my lane,” she said.

Without importing her personal views or policy preferences, Jackson explained that she follows three steps when approaching a case: First, she enters each from a position of neutrality. Next, she intakes the parties’ arguments, and the last step, she said, is the interpretation and application of the law to the facts.

“The entire exercise is about trying to understand what those who created this policy or this law intended,” she said. “As a lower court judge, I’m bound by the precedent. Even in the Supreme Court, if I was fortunate enough to be confirmed, there’s stare decisis, a binding kind of principle that the justices look at when they’re considering precedent. So, all of these things come into play in terms of my judicial philosophy.”


Mar 22, 9:11 am
Confirmation hearings gavel back in

The second day of confirmation hearings for Judge Jackson — Biden’s first nominee to the Supreme Court and the first Black woman considered to the nation’s highest court in its 233-year history — are officially underway.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., gaveled in the hearing room just after 9 a.m. In a show of support, Jackson’s husband, Patrick, was seated behind her in the room, as he was Monday.


Jackson faces a marathon day of questioning from the committee’s 22 members, with each senator receiving 30-minutes to question Jackson one on one for a total of 11 hours Tuesday. Senators, in order of seniority, will take turns probing her judicial philosophy, her record as a public defender and her legal opinions spanning nearly nine years on the bench.

In a sign of COVID restrictions easing across the country, almost no one in the hearing room was wearing a mask, and for the first time since the pandemic, for each half-hour of the proceedings, up to 60 members of the public invited by senators will also be allowed to attend.

Mar 22, 9:01 am
KBJ arrives on Capitol Hill


Judge Jackson arrived on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning to continue a marathon week of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will need to approve sending her nomination to the Supreme Court to the full Senate for a floor vote.

The hearings will gavel in at 9 a.m. and each of the committee’s 11 Republican and 11 Democratic members will have up to 30 minutes to question Jackson one on one.

Jackson, 51, was sworn in Monday and delivered an opening statement to reintroduce herself to the nation.


“I hope that you will see how much I love our country, and the Constitution and the rights that make us free,” she told the senators who will vote on her historic nomination.

She also hinted at how she might address GOP critiques on Tuesday, telling senators that she adopts a “neutral posture” and sees her judicial role as “a limited one.”

Mar 22, 8:59 am
Republicans preview how they’ll question KBJ


While Democrats have emphasized the historic nature of Judge Jackson’s nomination and her compelling personal story, Republicans have vowed “thorough and civil” scrutiny of her record in hundreds of cases, which several have alleged shows she is “soft on crime.”

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., leveled the most pointed critique of Jackson’s record so far in his opening statement Monday, accusing her of a “long record” of letting child porn offenders “off the hook” in sentencing. The White House, several independent fact-checkers, and conservative outlet The National Review have called the claims misleading and unfair.

Republicans including Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., have also made clear they will also take aim at Jackson’s defense of an accused terrorist held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay — a case she was assigned to as a federal public defender. Jackson has previously explained her service as an example of belief in constitutional values.


Others indicated they planned to press Jackson to characterize her judicial philosophy, though she’s said outright she doesn’t have one, and to answer for progressive legal advocacy groups backing both her nomination and expanding the Supreme Court’s bench.

Mar 22, 8:25 am
Questioning could prove critical in securing GOP votes

Questioning over the next two days could prove critical to the White House goal of securing at least some Republican support for Judge Jackson’s confirmation.


Three Republicans — Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Lindsey Graham — voted in favor of Jackson’s confirmation to the D.C. Circuit last June, but after private meetings with Biden’s nominee this month, all three were noncommittal about supporting her again.

Jackson has been vetted twice previously by the Judiciary Committee and twice confirmed by the full Senate as a judge. She was also Senate confirmed in 2010 as vice-chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

No Republican senator has publicly disputed Jackson’s qualification to be a justice, though several have raised concerns about her rulings and presumed judicial philosophy, which she has insisted she does not have.


Even without bipartisan support, Democrats have the votes on their own for Jackson’s confirmation, which party leaders have said they plan to complete before Easter.

Mar 22, 8:08 am
KBJ faces fourth Senate grilling Tuesday

Confirmation hearings for Judge Jackson — the first Black woman to be considered for the U.S. Supreme Court — continue on Tuesday at 9 a.m. when she’ll face up to 19 hours of questions from Senate Judiciary Committee members over two days.


Jackson will lean on her three prior experiences being questioned by the Judiciary Committee — more than any other nominee in 30 years — as its 11 Republicans and 11 Democrats take turns probing her judicial philosophy, her record as a public defender and her legal opinions spanning nearly nine years on the bench.

Jackson has spent the past few weeks practicing for the spotlight during mock sessions conducted with White House staff, sources familiar with the preparations told ABC News. She also met individually with each of the committee’s members and 23 other senators from both parties.

Each senator will get a 30-minute solo round of questioning on Tuesday, totaling more than 11 hours if each uses all of his or her allotted time, ahead of 20-minute rounds on Wednesday. The grilling is unlike any other for federal judges or political nominees in large part because of the lifetime tenure on the line.


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