“Nothing can be better than the truth”

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson delivered his opening remarks on Monday.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson delivered his opening remarks on Monday. (Sarah Silbiger for CNN)

The Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing began Monday with more than four hours of speeches from senators, an introduction to Jackson by two of her colleagues, and remarks from herself. nominated.

Jackson’s opening statement touches on her humble background and the gratitude she feels for those who have fueled her legitimate rise. She and her supporters emphasized the “independent” approach she brought to the bench, while Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats argued her confirmation would cause the court to grant high reflects more clearly the country it serves.

While they have previewed parts of Jackson’s filing that they intend to scrutinize, Republicans have launched a series of comments against Democrats about how they have handled the applications’ confirmations. GOP candidate.

Here are the takeaways from day one:

Jackson leans towards gratitude and humility

Much of Jackson’s opening statement carries weight with her upbringing, and the gratitude she feels for her parents and her faith.

In affirming “thanks be to God,” she said, “First of my many blessings is the fact that I was born in this great Nation” in 1970, a decade after Congress passed two major civil rights bills.

Her name, “Ketanji Onyika,” means “a lovely person,” she told the committee – an expression of “proud of their legacy and hope for the future.”

She recounts the love of law she developed watching her father study law, and praises the “excellent mentors” she had in high school and in front of the judges she clerked for.

“Justice (Stephen) Breyer not only gave me the greatest job any young lawyer could ever hope to have, but he demonstrated what it means to be a Supreme Court justice. with the highest degree of skill and integrity, courtesy and grace,” she said, referring to the justice they both demand and would replace if confirmed.

“It’s been incredibly humbling to be considered for Justice Breyer’s chair, and I know I can never fill his shoes,” she added. “But if confirmed, I hope to continue his spirit.”

Jackson claims an “independent” approach to the law, something advocates repeat

Jackson said she took “very seriously” her responsibility to defend the Constitution and her “duty to be independent”.

“I decide cases from a neutral stance,” she said. “I evaluate the facts, and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me, without fear or favor, in accordance with my judicial oath.”

That description of her approach comes as Republicans who criticize her refuse to attach themselves to a particular judicial philosophy, like originalism or pragmatism.

On Monday, a prominent conservative judge confirmed how she approached her role as a jurist.

“Judge Jackson is an independent jurist who judges based on facts and the law and not on partisanship,” said retired judge Thomas Griffith, a Republican appointee serving on the Court. DC Circuit’s United States Court of Appeals, said. “Time and time again, she proved that carefree on the bench.”

Democrats seek to get her to testify on public trust in courts

Democrats repeatedly remind their audiences of the high stakes of these confirmation struggles, referring to the major Supreme Court cases dominated by conservatives as they sought to connect the historic nature of Jackson’s nomination with public confidence in the court.

As is customary in these hearings, Democratic senators addressed legal issues that resonated with their establishment – with allusion to Supreme Court cases involving caregiving. health care, abortion rights, gun control and the environment.

Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said: “The American people, our voters … and their trust in the courts, that is at the heart of our democracy. I. “They lost trust, then democracy lost. Decisions made in our courts – and ultimately in the Supreme Court – affect the daily lives of each of us.”

Because Jackson, if confirmed, will replace a liberal colleague, her appointment likely won’t change the vote count from conservative to liberal from 6-3 on other issues. together. But Democrats emphasize other ways Jackson – through the demographic and occupational diversity she brings – will provide the court with new perspectives and enrich the faith that it has. Americans put it there.

Republicans care about the treatment Kavanaugh received from Democrats

More than three years ago, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed after a series of sensational and high-octane hearings that examined the Judiciary Committee’s ties. But despite the timing, their victory and the subsequent confirmation of another conservative justice, Republicans made it clear Monday that they could not see Jackson’s nomination without Kavanaugh’s background. .

Despite the fact that Republicans have pledged to absorb her past writings, rulings and convictions, nearly every Republican on the panel pledged to draw a line.

“No Republican senator will open you up to an attack on your character as the hearing is nearly over,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in her opening statement. himself, alluding to how late the process was when the charges were brought against Kavanaugh. disclosure.

Read more about the key moments from Jackson’s first day in the Supreme Court’s confirmation hearing here.

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