Ketanji Brown Jackson Hearings Conclude, Confirmation Likely

Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings wrapped up on Thursday and she seems likely to win confirmation to the US Supreme Court.


Ketanji Brown Jackson is likely headed to the Supreme Court after four days of confirmation hearings concluded Thursday.

  • The confirmation vote for Judge Jackson will likely come in mid-April.
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Thursday he would vote against Jackson’s confirmation. McConnell said he approached her nomination with “an open mind” but after “studying her record and watching her performance” he can’t support her.
  • Judge Jackson’s past as a federal public defender was a flashpoint during hearings, as Senate Republicans questioned her work defending Guantanamo Bay detainees and cast her as soft on crime due to her work on the US Sentencing Commission.
  • Judge Jackson received a “well qualified” rating from the left-leaning American Bar Association but several Republican senators cited her refusal to condemn court-packing as one of their reasons to vote against her.
  • She is expected to win support from all 50 Democratic senators, which with the vice president’s tie-breaking vote would be enough for confirmation.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times compared Judge Jackson’s record of imposing sentences lower than prosecutor recommendations with nominees Republicans had supported and contended Republicans were being hypocritical in their criticisms of her record.
  • CNN’s takeaways from the hearings included Judge Jackson’s insistence she wouldn’t be a “liberal firebrand” (we’ll see if that holds up) and the hearing’s “harsh tone” from Republicans, in a sharp partisan contrast from the network’s tone during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.
  • NPR covered the emotional moment between Judge Jackson and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) that brought them both to tears. Booker effusively praised Judge Jackson and seemed outraged that Republicans were questioning her record. Booker, of course, was eager to break Senate rules to get attention for his doomed presidential bid during the Kavanaugh hearings. Evidently in Sen. Booker’s eyes criticism is only legitimate if it’s directed at a conservative.



  • The Wall Street Journal reported Republican senators do not plan to boycott or delay Jackson’s confirmation, in contrast to the at-times desperate maneuvers Democrats took to delay the similarly assured confirmations of Trump’s nominees.
  • Fox News criticized so-called mainstream media and left-leaning outlets (but I repeat myself) for their biased coverage of Republicans during the hearings. The networks smeared Republicans as trying to “appeal to the QAnon audience” by merely asking questions about her record.
  • The Dispatch’s legal analysis podcast Advisory Opinions wrapped up the Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation hearings and dug into claims from Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley that Judge Jackson is soft on child pornography crimes.

Author’s Take

Despite the Washington Post‘s insistence that Jackson was treated worse than Brett Kavanaugh, who Democrats shamelessly smeared without evidence as an alcoholic serial gang rapist, the Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings were relatively smooth and uneventful. Republicans scored some points by attacking Jackson’s record on sentencing and stumped her with difficult questions like “what is a woman?”

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is likely to win confirmation and become a down-the-line liberal vote on the Supreme Court. She won’t affect the current 6-3 conservative majority, so expect lots of dissents and few majority opinions from future Justice Jackson.

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© Dominic Moore, 2022