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Dick Durbin Says Questioning Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Judicial Record Is An ‘Unfair’ Attack
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 21: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Durbin (D-IL) delivers remarks during the Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown, in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 21, 2022 in Washington, DC. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Joe Biden's pick to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court, will begin four days of nomination hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Jackson would become the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) suggested on Monday that questions aimed at Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s judicial record amounted to “unfair” attacks.

Referencing Senator Josh Hawley’s (R-MO) claims that Judge Jackson had a “soft on crime” approach to dealing with sex offenders, Durbin argued that such accusations were “baseless” and “unfair.”

“These baseless charges are unfair,” Durbin said, saying that “fact-checkers including the Washington Post, ABC News, and CNN have exposed some of these charges as falsehoods.”

Durbin went on to suggest that continuing down Hawley’s line of questioning would “fly in the face” of Republican assurances that Jackson’s hearings would remain civil.

Durbin opened Monday’s hearing — Judge Jackson’s first appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee — by reflecting on just how groundbreaking her nomination was.

“Not a single justice has been a black woman. You, Judge Jackson, can be the first,” Durbin said, adding, “It’s not easy being the first. Often you have to be the best. In some ways, the bravest. Many are not prepared to face that kind of heat, that kind of scrutiny, that ordeal and the glare of the national spotlight.”

Durbin went on to lament that the makeup of the Supreme Court had not ever properly reflected the makeup of the country, saying that Jackson’s confirmation could change that. “We can be confident that the court, its role, and its decisions will be more understandable to the American public,” he said.

Durbin also addressed the concerns that seem to come up at every Supreme Court Justice’s confirmation hearing — whether or not the nominee will feel beholden to the president who gave them the nomination, in this case, President Joe Biden.

“There may be some who claim, without a shred of evidence, that you’ll be a rubber stamp for this president,” Durbin said in response to that. “I have four words. Look at the record.”

Protesters had already gathered outside the Capitol even as Judge Jackson’s hearing began on Monday — on both sides of the abortion issue — to either call for Jackson’s confirmation or challenge it on the basis of her record.

As The Daily Wire reported:

Jackson’s case background on abortion appears relatively limited, though she clearly sides with Biden’s pro-abortion perspective.

“In a related case, she ruled against the Trump administration’s decision to cut grant funding under the federal Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. In Policy and Research v. HHS, she found that the administration had not properly grounded its action in the mandates of the Administrative Procedure Act,” The Washington Post reported.

Jackson also wrote an amicus brief letter to support a Massachusetts law to keep abortion protesters away from the entrances of abortion provider facilities, according to the report.

Of concern to pro-life advocates is a glowing statement of support from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

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