Confirmation hearings are getting underway today for President Biden’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley will be leading the Republicans in their questioning of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. “We will be fair and thorough, as people would expect us to be, but we won’t get down in the gutter like Democrats did during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings,” Grassley says. “I’m sure you folks remember how bad that got.”
Grassley is referring to now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was nominated for the Supreme Court by President Trump in 2018. Shortly after being nominated, Kavanaugh was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in the 1980s when they were in high school, and two other women accused him of sexual misconduct, all allegations he denied. After fiery hearings, Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate on a 50-to-48 vote.
As for Jackson, Grassley says she’ll be facing, in his words, tough questions. “Those tough questions will be about her record,” Grassley says, “tough questions about her judicial philosophy, tough questions about her views on the role of justices of the Supreme Court.” Grassley says he’s also concern about whether Jackson believes “in what liberals call a living constitution,” a viewpoint from which the U.S. Constitution could be changed based on the perspectives of the justices on the high court.
“There’s already been some concerns raised about her preferences and views on criminal sentencing,” Grassley says. “Whether her supporters like it or not, that’s part of her record and it will be the subject of legitimate questions.”
Jackson and Grassley met one-on-one earlier this month, shortly after President Biden announced she was his choice to replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who’s stepping down at the end of June. While Grassley is the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Iowa’s other U.S. senator and fellow Republican Joni Ernst is also on the panel.