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Republicans Grill Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson over Critical Race Theory, Guantánamo, Trans Rights

HeadlineMar 23, 2022

Senate hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson are continuing for a third day today. On Tuesday, Judge Jackson rejected Republican accusations that her sentences in child sexual abuse cases were lenient, saying she ordered “strict sentences and all of the additional restraints available in the law.” Republicans also went after Judge Jackson on a number of issues that have become recent flashpoints for the right. Senator Ted Cruz grilled Jackson over her views on critical race theory, while Senator Marsha Blackburn attacked transgender rights, at one point asking Jackson to define the word “woman.” Jackson declined to do so, asserting, “I’m not a biologist.” Senator Lindsey Graham asked Judge Jackson to rate how religious she is.

Sen. Lindsey Graham: “On a scale of one to 10, how faithful would you say you are, in terms of religion? You know, I go to church probably three times a year, so that speaks poorly of me. Or do you — do you attend church regularly?”

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson: “Well, Senator, I am reluctant to talk about my faith in this way, just because I want to be mindful of the need for the public to have confidence in my ability to separate out my personal views.”

Separately, Lindsey Graham stormed out of the hearing after he clashed with Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin over the ongoing detention of Guantánamo Bay prisoners, some of whom Jackson represented as an attorney.

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