As Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing gets underway Monday, President Joe Biden's nominee disclosed a 1997 letter to the editor where she was publicly critical of a journalist and espousing bias as a clerk of a federal judge.
Boston Herald columnist Don Feder, writing about dangers of open borders in 1997, was rebuked by then-clerk Jackson as "irredeemably evil," The Washington Free Beacon reported, reviewing the editorial and her response.
"To my mind, he's also like the liberal's purported view of American history — irredeemably evil," Jackson wrote of Feder, according to the letter disclosed to the Senate Judiciary Committee before the start of her hearings.
Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino expressed concern of bias in Jackson's public remarks and breaking of code of conduct norms that binds federal judges and — by connection — their clerks, she argued.
"The code of judicial conduct that prohibits federal judges from engaging in any activity that would undermine their independence or impartiality likewise binds their law clerks, so it is troubling that Jackson would write such a letter while serving as a clerk," Severino said. "It shows a lack of awareness on her part regarding the role of the judiciary."
Feder's column broached race, leading Jackson to weigh in.
"I'd sleep a bit easier if Louis Farrakhan wasn't the most admired man in the Black community," Feder wrote. "I wish minority voters didn't feel compelled to elect a gonif (the late Harold Washington), a total incompetent (David Dinkins), or a coke-head (Marion Barry) to high public office because he's a brother."
Jackson's response denounced Feder as "racist" and "irredeemably evil," according to the Beacon.
"For someone who claims not to consider certain groups morally or intellectually inferior to his own, Don Feder spends much of his column spewing out disagreeable facts about the high-crime rate in the black community and denouncing black voters for selecting incompetent, incorrigible, or inebriated leaders," Jackson wrote.
"By his own definition, Feder is a racist," adding, he is "irredeemably evil."
Jackson was nominated by Biden, by design, as the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, making race an issue for this week's confirmation hearings. The past confirmations of former President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominees have been politically charged, setting a public stage for Democrat and Republican battles in a midterm election year.
Jackson's hearings are also unique, because she would replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who is retiring at the end of this session in June, but Jackson might be confirmed before Breyer's service has concluded.
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