News Release

Judge Jackson’s Record


The Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court are set to begin on Monday. Media reports indicate Republicans will step up their attacks on her.

MARJORIE COHN,, @marjoriecohn
Cohn, professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, Cohn recently wrote: “A judge serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Jackson was confirmed to the position vacated by Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland by a Senate vote of 53 to 44 last year. All 50 Democratic senators and three GOP senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — voted for her.

“President Barack Obama appointed Jackson to be a U.S. district court judge in 2012. Jackson, who graduated with high honors from Harvard College and was editor of the Harvard Law Review … clerked for Breyer.

“Having served as a public defender, Jackson would be the only Supreme Court justice to have represented criminal defendants since Thurgood Marshall. Jackson represented several Guantánamo detainees. When she was an associate at a corporate law firm, she filed amicus briefs that supported challenges to Bush administration detention policies, including the detention of a lawful permanent resident arrested on U.S. soil as an enemy combatant with no charges.

“In her first opinion on the D.C. Circuit Court, Jackson, writing on behalf of the 3 to 0 panel, struck down a policy instituted by the Trump administration that had curtailed the bargaining power of labor unions representing more than a million federal employees. She joined a three-judge circuit court ruling in December 2021 that disallowed Trump’s claim of executive privilege to withhold White House documents from the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection.

“When she was a federal district judge, Jackson penned a strong opinion in 2019 rejecting a claim made by Donald McGahn — Donald Trump’s White House Counsel — who argued that he had absolute immunity from testifying before a committee of the House of Representatives. Jackson famously wrote, ‘Presidents are not kings,’ adding, ‘They do not have subjects, bound by loyalty or blood, whose destiny they are entitled to control.’ And when she was on the district court bench, Jackson voted to stop the Trump administration’s efforts to fast-track deportations.”