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Justice Barrett Reflects On Her ‘Quick’ Confirmation Hearing, Balancing Court Duties

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett spoke this week about her own confirmation process after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-11 on Monday night on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

While speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, Barrett reminisced about her 2020 experience and how quickly her confirmation process went.

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“It just happened very quickly,” Barrett told an audience, noting that her hearings had occurred on a “compressed timeline” and that she “was scrambling” to set up chambers, prepare for oral arguments and read briefs.

Brown, who was nominated by President Joe Biden to replace liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, will likely be confirmed by the Senate this week.

Three top Republican senators have announced that they will vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court.

GOP Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Susan Collins of Maine — all notable “Never-Trumpers” — have announced they will support Jackson’s confirmation to the court.

“After reviewing Judge Jackson’s record and testimony, I have concluded that she is a well-qualified jurist and a person of honor,” Romney said in a statement. “While I do not expect to agree with every decision she may make on the Court, I believe that she more than meets the standard of excellence and integrity. I congratulate Judge Jackson on her expected confirmation and look forward to her continued service to our nation.”

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Murkowski announced that she would vote to confirm Jackson.

“She clerked for Justice Breyer before working in the private sector and as a federal public defender, and then serving as Vice-Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a district court judge, and now an appeals court judge. She will bring to the Supreme Court a range of experience from the courtroom that few can match given her background in litigation,” Murkowski continued.

“It also rests on my rejection of the corrosive politicization of the review process for Supreme Court nominees, which, on both sides of the aisle, is growing worse and more detached from reality by the year. While I have not and will not agree with all of Judge Jackson’s decisions and opinions, her approach to cases is carefully considered and is generally well-reasoned. She answered satisfactorily to my questions about matters like the Chevron doctrine, the Second Amendment, landmark Alaska laws, and Alaska Native issues. The support she has received from law enforcement agencies around the country is significant and demonstrates the judge is one who brings balance to her decisions,” Murkowski added.

Collins announced last week that she would vote to confirm Jackson.

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“After reviewing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s extensive record, watching much of her hearing testimony, and meeting with her twice in person, I have concluded that she possesses the experience, qualifications, and integrity to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court,” Collins said. “I will, therefore, vote to confirm her to this position.”

KBJ’s likely confirmation vote before the full Senate comes as Attorneys general from Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and South Dakota joined Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in opposing Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

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“The undersigned attorneys general and I write to express our opposition to the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court because of her unconscionable leniency toward criminals who possess, publish, and produce child pornography—or, more accurately, images of child rape,” the letter stated.

“Judge Jackson hasn’t merely erred on the more forgiving end of a spectrum of available punishments, as many judges sometimes do. Rather, during her decade-long tenure as a federal district court judge, she repeatedly cast victims aside, elevated criminal defendants above them, and sentenced the abusers well below the accepted federal guidelines. For example, in dozens of child pornography cases, she imposed sentences that were anywhere from 15 to nearly 70 percent less than what the prosecutor had requested,” the letter added.

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