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Trump ends Jackson hearing on civil rights

The historic Senate hearings of Judge Ketanji brown Jackson, the first Black woman to be nominated for the Supreme Court were joyful.

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Trump ends Jackson hearing on civil rights

They were combative and clarifying, showing the breadth and complexity of the nation's partisan divide as well as the unresolved issues of its past.

With many hours of testimony by outside experts, the fourth dayof Jackson's Senate Judiciary Committee consideration concluded Thursday.

The Harvard-educated Jackson received the highest rating from the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. A friend from junior high praised the "supernova", debate team champion. Skeptics, including Alabama's attorney general, criticized her views on crime, policing, and other issues.

The hearings in the 50-50 Senate are less about the outcome of the vote and more about framing the political implications.

The Democrats are on track for President Joe Biden's confirmation, with a vote expected to be cast by the time senators leave April 8 for their spring recess.

Here are some takeaways from the fourth day of the weeklong hearing

REVIEW THE RECORD

"Outstanding, excellent, superior, superb."

Jackson received the same high rating from the ABA committee as was given to all other Supreme Court nominees with the exception of Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Ann Claire Williams, the chair of the committee, testified to the examination of approximately 250 legal professionals regarding Jackson's records. Williams answered a question about Jackson's integrity, saying: "Those were the comments."

Republican senators will be focusing on one slice of Judge Jackson's work child pornography cases that Jackson has stated are some of her most difficult -- some of which still give Jackson nightmares.

Similar to how Thurgood Marsh, a senator opposed to the first Black nominee for the court, half-century ago, painted the legendary civil rights lawyer as softening crime in his work to defend Black people, Republicans spotlight Jackson's sentencings of criminal cases. They show too much empathy for defendants.

Steven T. Marshall, an Alabama Republican witness, stated that Jackson is more open to criminals than she is to victims. He stated that her views on law enforcement reforms were "outside of the mainstream."

Republicans want to tie Jackson to left-leaning movements that "defund police", but it isn't clear if this approach is effective. The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest law enforcement agency in the country, backing the judge. She has also spoken out about her uncle and brother who were police officers.

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TRUMP'S INFLUENCE HORSERS

Donald Trump has left the White House but his influence on Republicans is still strong.

Alessandra Serano was the chief legal officer at Operation Underground Railroad in Utah, an anti-trafficking non-profit group. Republicans witnessed her being called. The state is investigating it for exaggerating their role in child predators law enforcement arrests in order to raise funds.

The group has gained popularity online and is now able to raise money from conspiracy theories. These conspiracy theories are popular with suburban mothers and groups that emerged out of the QAnon conspiracy theory. This conspiracy theory casts Trump as a hero fighting an elite cabal of Satan-worshipping, child sex trafficking ring operators.

Republicans are focusing on Jackson's rulings regarding child pornography, tapping into this GOP strain and its popularity among former president backers, drumming up voter interest prior to the November elections that will determine Congress' control.

Trump, who retired in Florida, has maintained that he won 2020, a belief held by many Republicans , despite numerous court cases and independent reviews which have dismissed GOP claims of a rigged vote. Trump may run again for president in 2024.

Thursday saw Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) attempt to air these points. He asked Marshall from Alabama if Biden was the "duly elected President" of the United States.

Marshall responded that Biden was the president.

Marshall answered the question by stating, "I'm answering your question." He is the president in the United States.

Alabama joined Marshall in challenging the results for the 2020 election.

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THE NEXT CIVIL RIGHTS ERA

Each day, the Senate hearings were filled with leading civil rights leaders, celebrating, as Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) put it, the "joy of achieving this landmark in American history.

Thursday's testimony was given by Rep. Joyce Beatty (chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus), who stated that Booker spoke not only to Black America but also to America.

D-Ohio Democrat Beatty placed Jackson's moment next to Rosa Parks's, and asked senators to think about what confirmation of the judge to the high courts would mean for the country.

She said that "we are not looking back at 50-65 years ago" and "but we're still fighting."

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COUNTING THE VOTES

After rules changes that allow for a simple 51 vote majority to confirm nominees to the court, senators no longer have to work with bipartisanship to confirm them.

Democrats hold a slim majority of the 50-50 chamber, with Vice President Kamala Harris being able to break a tie. Jackson's nomination is almost certain. Republicans are unable to block the judge's confirmation, but they do want to cast doubt on the outcome.

Republican Senators. The Republican Senators.

Jackson was the first federal public defense to be elected to the Supreme Court. Her efforts in representing victims of crime, along with her work as an federal judge have created a long list of cases that senators can review.

Jackson has described herself as a judge who uses method and not judicial philosophy to stay neutral while she works to "stay on my lane".

Jackson, if confirmed, would be the sixth female justice of the court's past and fourth among the nine current members.


 

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