Fair or Flawed? The Divided Narrative on Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson

Headline Roundup March 14th, 2022

The political left and right are at odds over whether Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson will pursue nonpartisan justice or left-wing priorities if she's confirmed to the court.

Jackson, 51, was nominated last month by President Joe Biden, and would be the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court if confirmed. Some prominent Republicans appear open to supporting Jackson's nomination, while others are adamantly opposed. Key moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) reportedly had a "positive" meeting with Jackson last week. She needs majority support in the evenly-divided Senate to be confirmed. Her Senate hearings are scheduled to begin March 21.

Left-rated voices often focus on the historical significance of Jackson's nomination and how she could reshape the court and American law if confirmed. Opinions on Jackson from right-rated voices tend to frame her as a leftist whose opinions will reflect radical progressivism, and highlight her rulings in favor of labor unions or defenses of Guantanamo Bay detainees. Conversely, one writer for USA TODAY highlighted rulings in which Jackson permitted further construction of Trump's border wall and supported speeding up review of asylum claims, painting her judicial record as more mixed and suggesting that her Supreme Court opinions would be hard to predict. Writing for the New York Times opinion section (Left bias), writer Charles Blow (Lean Left) said that repeated requests from conservatives for Jackson to prove her credentials were racist.

From the Right
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ANALYSIS

With the Senate Judiciary Committee set to start hearings in a week for Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson , a prominent conservative judicial activist is signaling to Republicans how to "contrast" how advocates portray her versus the high court pick's "actual record."

Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino told the Washington Examiner that President Joe Biden is "trying to replace a moderate liberal justice with a radical liberal justice," comparing Jackson to retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

Severino referenced Jackson's previous Senate Judiciary Committee hearings ahead of her confirmation last year to the U.S. Court...

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From the Left
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OPINION

Soon after President Joe Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for a seat on the Supreme Court her critics began casting her as a "radical, left-wing activist," a characterization based on a handful of high-profile opinions in which she ruled against President Donald Trump's administration. 

But a deeper review of Jackson's  opinions on the federal District Court in Washington, D.C., paints a more nuanced picture, including a number of instances in which she sided with the Republican administration and against the same left-leaning groups that now support her confirmation. 

Critics often point to a 2019 decision in which Jackson ruled that Trump's former White...

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From the Center
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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) met on Wednesday with President Biden's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Manchin, in a statement, said he and Jackson talked about "her experience, record and opinions on important issues impacting West Virginians" but that he would wait until after her Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, which is scheduled to start on March 21, to decide how he will vote.

"We had a positive and productive meeting. I appreciate her willingness to meet with me ahead of her confirmation vote. Just as I have with previous nominees, I will closely...

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