There are "serious concerns" about Supreme Court justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson's record heading into her Senate confirmation hearings, Sen. Marsha Blackburn said Monday on Newsmax before the proceedings were to begin.
"We have some serious concerns about Judge Jackson's record, the way that she has conducted business if you will, and the people she chose to represent in private practice, as a public defender," the Tennessee Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America" about Jackson, who has served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia since last year.
Blackburn pointed out that Jackson's work on U.S. Sentencing Commission, to which she was appointed in 2009 by then-President Barack Obama and confirmed through bipartisan support in 2010, has been "overturned repeatedly by the appellate court, where she now has the seat."
The senator said she'll focus her questioning in part on Jackson's decisions from that committee and in other cases, and on her judicial philosophy, including where she stands on the issue of packing the courts.
"We haven't gotten a clear definition of her judicial philosophy or where she stands on the court-packing," said Blackburn. "We also have serious concerns about her sentencing practices when it came to hardened criminals, supporting letting 1,500 go during COVID and going ahead and releasing someone who had murdered a U.S. marshal, someone that robbed a bank. These are hardened criminals, and they ought not to be put back on the streets."
Blackburn also said that Jackson also "repeatedly went below the minimum, not the maximum" when it came to sentencing people like child pornographers and pedophiles.
"Some of her writing talks about how she looks at the judicial system as being a coercive system," said the senator. "This is of concern to us. The American people deserve to know what this record is. It is a lifetime appointment."
It's also important to know if a nominee to the Supreme Court plans to serve as a constitutionalist, said Blackburn, and that he or she has experience.
"Tennesseans and repeatedly bring that up to me," she said. "They want judges who have had experience. They don't want people just going, hop, skip, and jump right up to the Supreme Court. They want to see a body of work and experience. They want to know that the individual's judicial philosophy carries them to the Constitution first not last."
It's also a concern that even though Jackson has a "deep resume," she is "clearly from the progressive wing of the party," said Blackburn. "For someone to go to precedent before they go to the constitution is something that is of concern to me."
The senator also discussed the ongoing hostilities in Ukraine, commenting as President Joe Biden heads this week to Europe.
Russia's military, she said, is bombing places where they know women, children, and the elderly are seeking shelter, and "these are war crimes."
"It going to be imperative that Joe Biden steps up as the leader of the free world and when he goes to NATO that he gives this challenge," said Blackburn. "These are war crimes. Putin has to be held responsible for this. There needs to be the ability for these individuals to seek safe harbor and not to have those escape routes bombed once they know that this is where innocent people children, elderly are going to get out of harm's way."
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