Democrats aim for Supreme Court confirmation in April

of President Biden appointment of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court immediately triggered a thorough Senate review of hi...


of President Biden appointment of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court immediately triggered a thorough Senate review of his case and began a well-established confirmation process that became as much a matter of politics and ideology as it was of legal record and professional background.

With the identity of Mr. Biden’s pick now known, Senate Democrats and Republicans and their allied interest groups will begin to argue against Judge Jackson in hopes of quickly establishing a picture of her in the mind. public.

Democrats set a target in early April for Senate confirmation, with plans to convene Judiciary Committee hearings toward the end of March.

Top Democrats have said they would like to see the Senate vote on Judge Jackson by April 8, before a scheduled two-week recess. The fact that she was under Senate consideration for her seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit less than a year ago should boost the chances of meet this deadline.

But the conflict in Ukraine and Washington’s emphasis on this could potentially upend plans and slow down its thinking.

The Senate process will begin in earnest next week when Judge Jackson travels to the Capitol for courtesy meetings with Senate leaders and key members of the Judiciary Committee, as well as other senators the White House considers essential. to get confirmation.

The meetings are largely ceremonial and familiarization sessions, although some lawmakers use the closed sessions as opportunities to try to deepen the candidate’s views. They can also create problems, as happened in 2017 when Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, then President Donald J. Trump’s first high court nominee, challenged Mr. Trump’s criticism of federal justice during a meeting with a Democratic senator, angering the President.

Along with meetings on Capitol Hill, the candidate and her support team will be required to answer an in-depth Judiciary Committee questionnaire that aims to create a comprehensive record of topics including speeches, writings and past cases.

At some point over the next few weeks, the candidate will also participate in mock hearings known as murder councils to practice responding to the type of grilling expected of Republicans. In recent confirmation hearings, the candidates have generally avoided providing substantive answers on most important issues and expressed their views on the courts and the Constitution in more general terms.

Given the 50-50 split in the Senate, the Judiciary Committee headed by Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, is itself split evenly, with 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans. If no Republican on the panel votes to send the nomination to the ground, Democrats will have to take additional steps to force her off the committee.

While Judge Amy Coney Barrett went through confirmation and in-court hearings just before the 2020 presidential election, the time between the nomination and the start of public hearings is typically around 45 days. Given how Republicans rushed through Judge Barrett’s confirmation, Democrats are trying to shorten the process while avoiding critics for moving too quickly.

Counting her endorsement last year, Judge Jackson has already been confirmed three times by the Senate – once for the appeals court position, once for a federal district court seat in 2013 and also in 2010 for lead the federal sentencing commission. The Senate took a roll-call vote only on the appeal court post and it was upheld last June 53-44.

But scrutinizing a Supreme Court nominee is in a class of its own, and the previous result does not guarantee she can garner the same level of support.

Though recent confirmation fights have been hot business, Senate Republicans led by Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, the Minority Leader, have mostly held their fire so far. This is partly because the new justice is should not change the ideological composition of the court. Republicans also recognize the political risks of taking too hard a line against the first black woman appointed to the High Court, although a few have criticized Mr Biden for limiting his research to race and gender.

In Kentucky this week, Mr. McConnell said he was not troubled by Mr. Biden’s decision to commit to selecting a black woman. He also said he expected the nominee “to be respectfully vetted with the kind of process that I think you could be proud of.”

However, some Republican members of the Judiciary Committee have already raised objections to Judge Jackson’s record and opinions and they can be expected to do so again in a high-profile court confirmation hearing. supreme. A handful of Republicans on the panel are considered potential presidential candidates in 2024 and will want voters to see them strongly challenge Mr Biden’s nominee.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Democrats aim for Supreme Court confirmation in April
Democrats aim for Supreme Court confirmation in April
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