Judge Jackson’s Answers Lend Legitimacy To Democrats’ Outrageous Court-Packing Schemes

LEADER McCONNELL: ‘Where Justices Ginsburg And Breyer Slammed The Door Shut, Judge Jackson Leaves It Open’


SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[U]nfortunately, thus far, many of Judge Jackson’s responses have been evasive and unclear. She has declined to address critically important questions or ameliorate real concerns. First and foremost is the simple question of court-packing. The far-left fringe groups that promoted Judge Jackson for this vacancy want Democrats to destroy the Court’s legitimacy through partisan court-packing or unconstitutional term limits. She was literally the court-packers’ pick for this seat. And she has repeatedly refused to reject their position. Both the liberal legal giants Justice Ginsburg and Justice Breyer had no problem whatsoever defending the Court and denouncing court-packing. As sitting Justices they commented freely on this subject. The Justices knew that expressing a clear view and defending their institution was not judicially inappropriate in any way. But Judge Jackson has refused to follow in the footsteps of Justices Ginsburg and Breyer. She refuses to rule out what the radical activists want. She told Senator Kennedy that she does have an opinion on court-packing, but it’s ‘not a strongly held opinion,’ and in any event, she wouldn’t tell Senators what it is. But the nominee made sure to quietly signal openness for the radicals’ position. She told Senators she could see both sides of the court-packing debate. Where Justices Ginsburg and Breyer slammed the door shut, Judge Jackson leaves it open. She even told the Committee, quote, ‘I would be thrilled to be one of however many Congress thought it appropriate to put on the Court.’ ‘However many’? I’m not sure Judge Jackson’s secret opinion on court-packing is as secret as she thinks it is.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 3/23/2022)

SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT), Senate Judiciary Committee Member: “I think it’s better for Article III judges and justices ordinarily to not wade into the political thicket. This one I do think is different because No.1, as I say, it can never come before you. No. 2, it does have an impact on what you would be doing. And you also as an Article III judge, someone who has served for nearly nine years as a federal judge, you’ve developed experience and intuition and a thorough understanding of our federal court system. And that’s why I think your perspective on it would be valuable.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/23/2022)


The Supreme Court Is A Fragile Institution … If We Think It’s Politicized Now, Think About How It Would Be If We Destroy The Institution Of The Senate So That On A Strict Party Line Partisan Vote We Expand The Court’

SEN. THOM TILLIS (R-NC), Senate Judiciary Committee Member: “I do think that the Supreme Court is a fragile institution. And I do believe that if we think it’s politicized now, think about how it would be if we destroy the institution of the Senate so that on a strict party line partisan vote we expand the court. That’s why court packing is important. … And accelerating it to a truly political body is only one successful nuking of the filibuster vote away in the U.S. Senate. This is serious stuff. … If we pack the court, the only thing that the Supreme Court has is its integrity and the esteem that the American people and the trust that they put into it. Packing the court could cause the Supreme Court to lose the trust of the American people.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/23/2022)

SEN. LEE: “It’s difficult to imagine why it would be a good idea to change [the size of the Supreme Court], particularly because if you increase the size of the Court in one fell swoop and you do that for partisan political purposes, allowing one President, the current President to have a disproportionate impact on the court and to change its rulings [on] that portion of the court’s docket that tends to be more politically contentious, it can turn the court into a political football of sorts given the fact that our Supreme Court justices serve for life. Once you do that, it becomes something of a one way ratchet, always expanding, never contracting. Before long, you could see an increasingly larger court with the court expanding each time a different party secures the coveted circumstance of a majority in the House, Majority in the Senate, and controlled by the same party of the White House.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/23/2022)


Even Democrats Agree That The Supreme Court’s ‘Authority Depends On Its Credibility And The Respect And Trust Of The American People’

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT), Senate Judiciary Committee Member: “The Supreme Court has no armies, no police force to enforce its decisions. Its authority depends on its credibility and the respect and trust of the American people.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/21/2022)

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE), Senate Judiciary Committee Member: “You understand the reason why the robes of our federal judges are black, not red or blue. The American justice system, as many have said, is rooted in the impartiality, the independence, and the reliability of our federal judicial system. It is one of the most critical bulwarks of our system of ordered liberty.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/22/2022)


Yet Judge Jackson Refused To Answer Whether ‘Calls To Pack The Court De-Legitimize Court’

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA), Senate Judiciary Committee Member: “Can we agree that the calls to pack the court de-legitimize the court?”
JUDGE KETANJI BROWN JACKSON: “Senator, it would not be appropriate for me, in my view, to comment on calls to pack the court, as you say, to increase the number or to do any structural changes. Those are policy determinations for Congress. What -- the consequences of those are policy considerations for Congress. I’m just looking forward to working with the brilliant people who are there at whatever size Congress decides, if I am confirmed.”
SEN. KENNEDY: “Well, the calls to pack the court don’t legitimize the court, do they?”
JUDGE JACKSON: “Well, Senator, I think that would be for you to decide.”
SEN. KENNEDY: “I’m asking your opinion.”
JUDGE JACKSON: “Respectfully, Senator, I’m not in a position to give my opinion on issues that are policy issues concerning the court and not something that a judge would have to consider, or should consider, in -- in my view.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/22/2022)


Judge Jackson Even Said She ‘Would Be Thrilled To Be One Of However Many Congress Thought It Appropriate To Put On The Court,’ Lending Legitimacy To The Idea Of Adding Partisan Justices

SEN. KENNEDY: “Well, in deciding to join the United States Supreme Court, if you’re affirmed, wouldn’t it make a difference to you whether you’re one of nine or one of 28?”
JUDGE JACKSON: “Would it make a difference?”
SEN. KENNEDY: “Don’t you think that’s a -- that impacts the judiciary, that involves the judiciary?”
JUDGE JACKSON: “Senator, it certainly involves the judiciary. I would be thrilled to be one of however many Congress thought it appropriate to put on the court.”
KENNEDY: “Okay. So, you’d be okay if it was 28?”
JUDGE JACKSON: “If that’s Congress’s determination, yes. The Congress makes political decisions like that.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/22/2022)


Pressed By Sen. Kennedy, Judge Jackson Finally Admitted She Did Have A Personal Opinion On Court Packing But Refused To Share It, Noting ‘I Hear The Arguments On Both Sides’

SEN. KENNEDY: “You have an opinion [on court packing] though, don’t you?”
JUDGE JACKSON: “Senator, any opinion that I would have is not something that would ever come up in a -- in my work as a judge, something that I would ever rely on. This is a political issue for Congress.”
SEN. KENNEDY: “But do you have an opinion, Judge?”
JUDGE JACKSON: “Not a strongly held opinion, actually.”
SEN. KENNEDY: “But you have an opinion?”
JUDGE JACKSON: “I haven’t really thought about it, but I hear the arguments on both sides and I understand it to be a political issue. … I don’t have an opinion that I think it appropriate to share. I work very hard to set aside my opinions when I’m thinking about cases, which is the work of a judge. And so, this particular issue is one that is very contentious, as you say… One that’s in the province of Congress, and one that I think it not appropriate for me to comment on.”
SEN. KENNEDY: “I understand that, but I think it would tell us a lot about you if you would answer the question. I’m a little confused about your answer earlier. It’s probably more my fault than yours. Do you have an opinion about whether these efforts to pack the United States Supreme Court de-legitimize the court? Do you have an opinion?”
JUDGE JACKSON:Senator, I have an opinion about the efforts. It’s not an opinion that I think is appropriate for me to share. And so, therefore I don’t have anything further to add.
SEN. KENNEDY: “So, you do have an opinion, but you don’t want to share it. Is that –”
JUDGE JACKSON: “I don’t think it’s appropriate for me as a nominee to comment on a political matter that is in the province of Congress.” (U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 3/22/2022)



Related Issues: Judicial Nominations, Supreme Court, Senate Democrats