Five questions Ketanji Brown Jackson could face in her Supreme Court hearing
And how she could dodge them, thanks to precedent paved by previous nominees
When Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson appears before senators for her confirmation hearing to be the next Supreme Court justice, she’ll face a number of friendly Democrats — and some firebrand Republicans who are expected to ask her heated questions about race, ethics and her background as a public defender.
But Jackson has lots of recent precedent to avoid answering even the most basic questions. Previous nominees, especially recent ones, made it a practice to constantly dodge questions about what they believe and even long-decided cases. They came under a great deal of criticism from the other party for it, but not enough that it derailed their nominations.
Here are five of the most hot-button questions Jackson is likely to face in her confirmation hearing, and how she might respond — if at all.
1. How does race inform your decisions?
2. Will you recuse from an affirmative action case coming before the court about Harvard University?
3. How would you rule on Roe v. Wade?
4. Have you ever represented a terrorist?
5. How was your decision on Donald McGahn not judicial activism?
About this story
Biden’s Supreme Court pick
The nominee: The president named Ketanji Brown Jackson, a judge on the D.C. federal court of appeals, as his first Supreme nominee. She would be the first Black woman justice in the court’s history.
Analysis: Race, Jackson’s work on Guantánamo detainee cases, her ruling against Trump and support she received from a court-packing group are all potential issues that may arise in this confirmation fight.
What it means: The Democrats have a chance to replace the oldest of three liberal justices on the Supreme Court ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
What’s ahead: Republican senators have not agreed on a strategy for questioning Jackson or even whether they have a strategy. Privately, some have argued that going after Jackson is not worthwhile politically.Show More