Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson refused to define the word ‘woman’ during the fiery second day of her confirmation hearing conducted by the ‘s Judiciary Committee.
The moment came during a tense exchange with Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) who pressed Jackson on sex and issues amid the fallout of biological male swimmer storming to victory in the NCAA championships against female competitors.
Quoting late Supreme Court judge , Blackburn said: ‘Physical differences between men and women are enduring.The two sexes are not fungible. A community made up exclusively of one sex is different from a community composed of both.’
‘Do you agree with Justice Ginsburg that there are physical differences between men and women that are enduring?’ the senator asked.
When Jackson claimed she had never heard the quote, Blackburn asked directly: ‘Can you define the word ”woman”?’
‘Can I provide a definition?’ Jackson responded.
‘No, I can’t,’ she declared, before adding: ‘I’m not a biologist’.
Jackson’s staunch refusal to offer a definition of a woman came at the end of the second day of questioning which tackled the big issues of race, abortion and judicial philosophy.
It was a grueling marathon of debate for President Joe Biden’s historic pick, who is making history as the first black woman nominated for the court.
On the second day of the tense Senate hearing, there were other developments including:
Judge Jackson defended her sentencing record in child pornography cases when criticized for going soft on these offenders
‘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
Added that child pornography statutes for sentencing are outdated
She wouldn’t comment on whether she would support court packing
Suggested liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer were wrong to speak against it in the past
Graham compared GOP’s mild questioning of Jackson to the harsh treatment Democrats gave Republican Supreme Court nominees in the past
He then stormed out of the meeting following an exchange on Guantanamo Bay
Senator Josh Hawley pressed her on her sentences for pedophiles and Ted Cruz grilled her on critical race theory
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson refused to define the word ‘woman’ during the second day of her confirmation hearing conducted by the US Senate’s Judiciary Committee
The moment came during a tense exchange with Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who pressed Jackson on sex and gender issues
The Harvard-educated Jackson was unanimously deemed ‘Well Qualified’ to serve on the US Supreme Court by the American Bar Association (ABA), and her legal career includes experience as a public defender, district judge and court of appeals judge.
But the judicial committee is keen to probe Jackson’s judicial philosophy to determine whether she will adhere to the strict interpretation of the law, or assume the role of an activist judge trying to shape policy through her rulings.
In response to Jackson’s decision to remain mum on the definition of a woman, Blackburn retorted: ‘The fact that you can’t give me a straight answer about something as fundamental as what a woman is underscores the dangers of the kind of progressive education that we are hearing about.
‘Just last week, an entire generation of young girls watched as our taxpayer-funded institutions permitted a biological man to compete [against] and beat a biological woman in the NCAA women’s swimming championships,’ the senator continued in reference to Lia Thomas.
‘What message do you think this sends to girls?’
But Jackson refrained from sharing her stance on the matter: ‘I’m not sure what message that sends.If you’re asking me about the legal issues related to it, those are topics that are being hotly discussed, as you say, and could come to the Court, so I’m not able to address them.’
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Ted Cruz grills Jackson on Critical Race Theory with books including Antiracist Baby
The ‘progressive education’ referred to by Blackburn related to an earlier bout of questioning in which Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) grilled Jackson about Critical Race Theory.
Cruz, who pointed out that he and Jackson were a year apart at Harvard Law School and were friendly at the time, veered from legal arguments to the heated debates over critical race theory, an academic area of study which maintains US law is set up to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between people of different races.
Displaying a stack of books on racism – including ‘Antiracist Baby’ and ‘The End of Policing’ – from the reading list at Georgetown Day School, a prestigious private campus where Jackson serves on the board, Cruz pressed the nominee for her views on the topic.
‘I´ve never studied critical race theory,’ Jackson told Cruz.’It doesn’t come up in the work that I do as a judge.’
Cruz then pointed to a portion of ‘Antiracist Baby’ that read: ‘Babies are taught to be racist or antiracist, there is no neutrality,’ and another portion that recommends babies ‘confess when being racist.’
‘Do you agree with this book being taught to kids that babies are racist?’ Cruz asked.
After a thoughtful pause, Brown replied: ‘I do not believe that any child should be made to feel as though they are racist or though they are not valued or though they are less than, that they are victims, that they are oppressors, I don’t believe in any of that.’
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks as a visual aid is displayed during Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, March 22, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks as a visual aid is displayed during Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, March 22, 2022
Another key section of questioning focused on policing and crime, and Jackson was accused of giving child pornography criminals lenient sentences.
Cruz, Blackburn and Sen. Josh Hawley asked why Jackson had given such criminals ‘substantially lower’ sentences than what the prosecutor asked for, with Cruz pointing out Jackson’s sentences were on average 47.2 percent lower than what the federal government’s prosecutors recommended.
Jackson said the Cruz was not accounting for what the probation officer recommended in such cases.
‘I take these cases very seriously as a mother.A judge has to review the actual evidence in these cases and based on Congress’ requirement, take into account not only the sentencing guidelines, not only the recommendations of the parties, but also things like the stories of the victims.’
Earlier, Jackson had noted that sentencing guidelines were outdated, having been written before the internet age, and did not adequately differentiate from the crime of consuming or distributing child pornography and PTS Terbaik ASEAN being involved in its production.
White House slams Josh Hawley’s ’embarrassing, QAnon-signaling smears’ of SCOTUS pick Ketanji Brown Jackson – as he claims she treated pedophiles as victims
White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates accused Sen. Josh Hawley of an ’embarrassing, QAnon-signaling smear’ for his criticisms of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s sentencing record in child pornography cases.
Bates noted on Twitter that Hawley’s complaints had been fact-checked by a number of mainstream media outlets.
Over the past two days of the judge’s Senate hearing, the Missouri Republican has taken issue with seven child pornography cases where Jackson, who during her eight years as a trial judge sentenced more than 100 people, gave defendants lighter sentences than what the Department of Justice was seeking and was recommended by federal sentencing guidelines, which add up recommendations based on federal statutes.
Other Republicans, including Sens.Marsha Blackburn and Ted Cruz, brought up the child pornography cases too.
Hawley, in his second round of questioning on the matter of the day, specifically brought up U.S. v. Hawkins, where Jackson in 2013 sentenced 18-year-old Wesley Hawkins to three months in federal prison even though guidelines recommended 10 years and prosecutors had asked for two.
Investigators found over 600 images and hours of footage of children, some of whom were as young as eight, committing sex acts.
‘I just have to tell you, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it.We’re talking about eight year olds and nine year olds and 11 year olds and 12 year olds,’ Hawley said.
Jackson said that ‘a judge has to do is determine how to sentence defendants proportionately,’ before noting that oftentimes the defending is just ‘collecting the images on the internet.’ ‘They’re not focused on you know, what is actually happening to the children,’ she said.
Over the past two days of the judge’s Senate hearing, the Missouri Republican Sen. Hawley has taken issue with seven child pornography cases where Jackson, who during her eight years as a trial judge sentenced more than 100 people, gave defendants lighter sentences than what the Department of Justice was seeking and was recommended by federal sentencing guidelines
‘So part of my sentencings was about redirecting the defendants attention. It’s not just about how much time a person spends in prison. It’s about understanding the harm of this, this behavior.
It’s about all of the other kinds of restraints. That sex offenders are ordered, rightly to live under at the end of the day. The sentences in these cases include not only prison time, but restraints on computer use sometimes for decades, restraints on ability to go near children, sometimes for decades.
All of these things judges consider in order to affect what Congress has required, which is a sentence that is sufficient but not greater than necessary for the purposes of punishment.’
Hawley noted that Jackson told the defendant: ‘This seems to be a case where you were fascinated by sexual images involving what were essentially your peers.’
‘And then you went on to say the defendant was merely trying to satisfy his curiosity.Curiosity is your word.’
‘Judge he was 18 these kids are eight!’ Hawley said furiously. ‘I don’t see in what sense they’re peers. I’ve got a nine year old, a seven year old and a 16 month old at home, and I live in fear that they will be exposed to let alone exploited in this kind of material.’
Jackson said that she did not remember the case entirely but said she remembered that ‘the defendant had just graduated from high school.And some of perhaps not all when you were looking at the records, but some of the materials that he was looking at were older, teenagers were older victims.’
Jackson reiterated that it is a judge’s job to consider all factors of the case in sentencing, not to simply follow federal sentencing guidelines.
Earlier, Jackson had noted that sentencing guidelines were outdated, having been written before the internet age, and did not adequately differentiate from the crime of consuming or distributing child pornography and being involved in its production.
Cruz, during his own questioning, noted that Jackson’s sentences were on average 47.2 percent lower than what the federal government’s prosecutors asked for.
The White House has argued that in five of the seven cases, Jackson’s sentences were the same as or greater than what the probation office recommended.Probation offices analyze the offender’s background and other factors to recommend increasing or decreasing sentences.
Lindsey Graham storms out of hearing after saying he hopes Gitmo detainees ‘die in jail’
Lindsey Graham walked out of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing Tuesday after arguing with Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin over the release of Guantanamo Bay detainees following his line of questioning of the Supreme Court nominee.
Durbin, who was trying to defend President Joe Biden’s nominee against Graham following his 30 minutes of questioning, spoke to the recidivism rate of those released.
‘If you’re going to talk about what I said, I’m going to respond to what you said,’ Graham shot back, turning his microphone on. ‘If we close Gitmo and move them to Colorado, do you support indefinite detention under the law of war for these detainees?’
‘I would just say, I’m giving the facts,’ Durbin responded.
‘The answer’s no,’ the South Carolina Republican rebutted.
Senator Lindsey Graham went on a heated rant during Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation questioning Tuesday regarding the release of Guantanamo Bay detainees before storming out of the hearing room
Durbin said the 31 percent Graham referenced of Guantanamo Bay detainees who were released and then were reoffenders dates back to 2005.
‘What does it matter when it goes back to?We had them, and they got loose and they started killing people. If you’re one of the people killed in 2005, does it matter to you when we released them?
‘I’m suggesting the system has failed miserably and advocates to change the system, like she was advocating, would destroy our ability to protect this country.We;re at war, we’re not fighting a crime. This is not some passage of time event.
‘As long as they’re dangerous, I hope they all die in jail if they’re going to go back and kill Americans,’ Graham said, starting to raise his voice.
‘It won’t bother me one bit if 39 of them die in prison,’ he continued.’That’s a better outcome than letting them go.’
‘And if it costs $500 million to keep them in jail, keep them in jail. Because they’re going to go back to the fight. Look at the fricken Afghan government that’s made up of former detainees at Gitmo.This whole thing by the left about this war ain’t working.’
At this point, Graham turned off his microphone, grabbed his water bottle and stormed out of the room.