Iowa senator, Judiciary Committee colleagues grill President Biden’s Supreme Court pick

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 11:34 AM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Tuesday. Committee Democrats emphasized Judge Jackson’s qualifications and deep understanding of the law. But Republicans, like Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the most senior Republican member on the committee, still has questions.

“Do you agree with Justice [Stephen] Breyer and Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsberg that court packing is a bad idea?” asked Grassley.

“It is a policy question for Congress, and I am particularly mindful of not speaking to policy issues,” said Jackson.

In his allotted 30 minutes of questioning, Grassley touched on this idea of adding seats to the bench, gun rights, allowing cameras inside the Supreme Court, civil rights, and more.

Judge Jackson would be the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. A graduate of Harvard, Judge Jackson was a federal public defender before being named to the federal bench in 2012. Judge Jackson currently serves on the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia.

Judge Jackson is set to replace the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. Grassley keyed in on the philosophy that would guide Breyer’s potential replacement.

“There’s 115 justices that served before you. If you are approved by the Senate, is there any of them now or in the past that has a judicial philosophy that most closely resembles your own?” said Grassley.

“I haven’t studied the philosophies of all of the prior justices. I will say I come to this position at this moment as a judge who comes from practice,” said Jackson.

Questioning from senators is expected to continue well into the evening on Capitol Hill, continuing through the day Wednesday.

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