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Ketanji Brown Jackson

3 Key Moments that Exposed Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Unpreparedness

Republican senators called Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s statements “an endless circle of evasion”

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This Wednesday, March 23rd, was the last day of interviews from the Senate with Joe Biden’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson. In the hearing, some of the judge’s opinions and how the Justice system that would be in her hands is envisioned.

Jackson was nervous on several occasions, and on others, she did not know how to respond, especially on issues of culture war, Critical Race Theory (CRT), and cases related to the criminalization of child pornography. In fact, Republican senators described the judge’s statements as “an endless circle of evasion.”

Ketanji Brown Jackson could not define the word “woman”

During the hearing, which is part of the confirmation process, Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn, asked Jackson about a number of culture war issues, including efforts to allow or prohibit transgender athletes from competing on teams corresponding to their gender identity rather than their biological sex. Blackburn asked Jackson to define the word “woman” and she admitted she “couldn’t do it.”

“Can’t?” asked Blackburn. “Not in this context. I’m not a biologist,” Jackson replied. She added that “in my work as a judge, what I do is address disputes. If there is a dispute about a definition, people make arguments, and I look at the law, and I decide.”

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She didn’t answer clearly on Critical Race Theory

Another controversial moment came when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz asked Jackson about her views on Critical Race Theory.

“I do not believe that any child should be made to feel as though they are racist, or as though they are not valued, or as though they are less than — that they are victims, they are oppressors,” she said. “I’ve never studied critical race theory, and I’ve never used it. It doesn’t come up in my work as a judge,” Jackson added, dodging the question.

Regarding sentences related to criminalizing child pornography, Republican senators questioned Jackson about cases in which those convicted of child pornography received sentences lower than those recommended by the Sentencing Commission.



In response to the questions, the nominee to lead the Supreme Court noted that she “regretted” that the GOP focused on a “small subset” of her sentences.

Minimized child pornography sentences

Jackson was thus responding to a line of questioning from Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, who asked if she regretted her decision in the 2013 case in which she sentenced an 18-year-old who had been in possession of about two dozen images and videos of child sexual abuse to three months in prison, when the prosecution recommended at least two years.

“What I regret is that in a hearing about my qualifications to be a justice on the Supreme Court, we have spent a lot of time focusing on this small subset of my sentences,” Jackson said.

While the White House had hoped the Senate hearings would draw Republicans to help confirm her, it is still unclear whether any will vote for Jackson, who returned to Capitol Hill on Thursday to try to drum up more support.


Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in his remarks on the floor that Jackson kept “deflecting” questions about her judicial philosophy and how to fill the courts, and argued that she subjected senators to an “endless circle of evasion.”

If the 22-member Judiciary Committee moves forward with Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination, she will be considered by a vote of the 100-member Senate. If confirmed, she would replace liberal Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires at the end of the judicial term in June.

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