Court Battles

Former DC judge, Penn law professor to introduce Ketanji Brown Jackson at hearing

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Capitol Hill
Associated Press/Carolyn Kaster
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson is photographed as she meets with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 15, 2022.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will be introduced at her Senate confirmation hearing Monday by a former D.C. circuit court judge and a University of Pennsylvania law school professor. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee announced Sunday that Judge Thomas Griffith and professor Lisa Fairfax will each have five minutes to introduce Jackson, who will then have ten minutes for her own opening statement. 

Griffith previously served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit before retiring in 2020, while Fairfax is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, where she is also co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics.

Fairfax and Brown attended Harvard Law School together. “The unmitigated joy of seeing someone I love be nominated, why I’m still smiling right now and probably getting ready to tear up,” Fairfax told CBS. 

Griffith wrote to the Senate committee in support of Jackson’s confirmation late last month. 

“Judge Jackson and I occasionally differed on the best outcome of a given case,” he wrote. “However, I have always respected her careful approach, extraordinary judicial understanding, and collegial manner, three indispensable traits for success as a Justice on the Supreme Court.”

Jackson’s confirmation hearings are scheduled to begin on Monday at 11 a.m. and continue for four days as lawmakers scrutinize her judicial record.

On Monday, all 22 lawmakers on the panel will make 10-minute opening statements. Hearings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will start at 9 a.m. each day with questioning starting on Tuesday.

President Biden fulfilled a campaign commitment when he nominated Jackson, who would be the first Black woman to serve on the high court, to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, who is set to leave his position at the conclusion of the court’s current term this summer.

“Judge Jackson is an exceptionally qualified nominee as well as an historic nominee, and the Senate should move forward with a fair and timely hearing and confirmation,” the White House said in its statement at the time of the 51-year-old’s nomination. 

Republicans have been increasing their criticism of Jackson’s record as the hearings near, while other groups — including Black woman and public defenders — are rallying behind the judge. 

Tags Joe Biden Ketanji Brown Jackson Ketanji Brown Jackson Supreme Court nomination Stephen Breyer
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