What Connecticut Senators Are Saying About Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court Nomination


President Joe Biden’s nomination of Federal Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court last week prompted expressions of optimism from the two US senators from Connecticut, both Democrats, ahead of a confirmation battle which will take place in the coming weeks.

In statements posted online and on social media, the senses. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy said they plan to conduct a thorough credential review of Jackson, a former public defender who has served on the federal bench for nearly a decade.

If confirmed by the Senate, Jackson would be the first black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. His appointment was made to fill the impending vacancy caused by the retirement of Liberal Justice Stephen Bryer.


Murphy and Blumenthal voted to confirm Jackson’s nomination to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last year, along with three of their fellow Republicans. Senators have expressed hope for a similar bipartisan vote on his Supreme Court nomination, though Republicans have previously sought to call Jackson too liberal.

None of the Connecticut senators were made available Monday to speak directly about Jackson’s nomination, with their offices indicating busy schedules in Washington.

On Twitter Friday, Murphy clapped Biden and said he plans to learn more about Jackson during the nomination process.

“On the face of it, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson appears to be a respected mainstream jurist who has won the support of Republicans and Democrats in the past,” Murphy said.

Blumenthal was even more enthusiastic in his praise of Jackson, calling her “deeply impressive” and a “professional woman of character, intelligence and integrity.”

“Justice Jackson is a woman, a black woman, of exceptional achievement and character, someone who more than meets the standard of appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States,” Blumenthal said during a virtual press conference on Friday. “She has a unique combination of thoughtfulness and common sense, and like Justice Breyer, she understands the real impacts of her decisions on ordinary Americans.”

Governor Ned Lamont also offered his support for Biden’s nomination of Jackson, saying in a statement that “his experience, perspective and voice will be a valuable addition to the bench.”

Jackson graduated from Harvard Law School, dashing the hopes of some who have called on Biden to appoint someone outside the court’s traditional Ivy League context. However, she also served as an assistant federal public defender and would be the first judge with experience representing defendants since Judge Thurgood Marshall.

More typical of a candidate for a top federal judgeship, Jackson served as a clerk for Judge Breyer early in her career. Like Breyer, she was also a member of the US Sentencing Commission.

“She’s brilliant, she’s one of the brightest legal minds in our country,” said University of Connecticut Law School Dean Eboni Nelson. “Her background as a federal judge, serving on the Sentencing Commission, being a former public defender, all of this great experience that she has and will bring to the court will help inform the decision-making, no only from herself but from her fellow judges.

Nelson, also a Harvard graduate, said she hadn’t met Jackson, but had heard “wonderful things” from former classmates.

Mike Lawlor, a criminal justice professor at the University of New Haven, said Jackson’s experience as a public defender would contrast with the more “cerebral” thinking of the current slate of judges.

“For the most part, Supreme Court justices are very accomplished academics, you know, and judges,” Lawlor said. “I think if you’re a public defender, you have a much more realistic appreciation of how the criminal justice system works and its intended and unintended consequences.”

Even Republicans vying to oust Blumenthal from his U.S. Senate seat this fall have said Jackson deserves “fair” consideration in the nomination process — a change from when the Republican-controlled Senate declined to hold hearings on the nomination of Merrick Garland by former President Barack Obama. court in 2016.

“Judge Brown deserves a fair and impartial process that allows her to share her views on important legal issues with the Senate Judiciary Committee and the American people,” GOP Senate candidate Themis Klarides said in a statement. press release issued by his campaign.

Leora Levy, another Republican Senate candidate whose nomination by former President Donald Trump as ambassador to Chile was never voted on by the Republican-controlled Senate, said in a statement that she would give full due attention to all presidential nominations, but promised to withhold his support. judicial candidates who are not “constitutionalists”.

“I hope President Biden’s nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, doesn’t try to legislate from the bench, which is the job of our elected representatives, in an effort to reorganize America to fit a radical and progressive vision of America that is being promoted today by the Democratic Party,” Levy said in a statement.

Jackson is expected to begin meeting with Senate leaders as early as Wednesday, according to CNN, before his nomination is reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Blumenthal has been a member of the Judiciary Committee since shortly after being sworn into the Senate in 2011.

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