Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and her supporters plan to highlight her legal experience and history of working with Republicans during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings starting Monday, as Republicans prepare to question her record on sentencing. The White House and outside groups supporting her said she will place a greater emphasis on her experience as a federal judge for the past decade, her work with Republicans while serving as vice chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and her time as a law clerk for retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, says the Wall Street Journal.
Jackson has held mock sessions with Paige Herwig, senior counsel to President Biden, and White House counsel Dana Remus playing prominent roles, according to people familiar with the preparations. Former Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) has been serving as the judge’s Senate “sherpa,” advising her during meetings with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and other senators. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says his party won't make personal criticisms of the nominee, after then-nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 faced sexual-assault allegations that many Republicans viewed as unfair. Republican senators plan to focus on Jackson’s background as a public defender and her experience on the sentencing commission. They have signaled that crime could be a central theme of the hearings, amid rise in shootings and killings in many cities. Republicans have criticized progressives in the Democratic Party for proposals that Republicans say would weaken police, such as calls to cut departments’ funding. "There’s no question that elements on the left have been very critical of law enforcement and very soft on criminals,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who voted against confirming Jackson to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last year. “We’ll talk about it—I’m not sure she’ll give any kind of assurances.”