WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate Judiciary Committee began historic confirmation hearings yesterday for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who would be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court.
Barring a significant misstep by the 51-year-old Jackson, a federal judge for the past nine years, Democrats who control the Senate by the slimmest of margins intend to wrap up her confirmation before Easter.
Jackson presented an opening statement yesterday afternoon, then answer questions from the committee’s 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans over the next two days. She will be introduced by Thomas B Griffith, a retired judge for the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and Lisa M Fairfax, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.
Jackson appeared before the same committee last year, after President Joe Biden chose her to fill an opening on the federal appeals court in Washington, just down the hill from the Supreme Court.
Her testimony will give most Americans, as well as the Senate, their most extensive look yet at the Harvard-trained lawyer with a resume that includes two years as a federal public defender. That makes her the first nominee with significant criminal defence experience since Thurgood Marshall, the first Black American to serve on the nation’s highest court.