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tv   U.S. Senate Sen. Markey on Supreme Court Nomination  CSPAN  April 6, 2022 8:57am-9:11am EDT

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packing schemes by thesc democrats. judge jackson may feign ignorance not because she doesn't know these answers but because liberal judicial philosophy is all too often based on denying reality. as a judge, judge jackson has denied that reality again and again. judge jackson will coddle criminals and terrorists, and she will twist or ignore the law to reach the result that she wants. that's not what we need in a supreme court justice and that's what i will be voting against the nomination. >> madam\ president{,} i rise to speak in support of the nomination of judge ketanji brown jackson to serve as an associate justice of the united states supreme court. when confirmed, judge jackson who currently serves on the u.s. court of appeals for the district of columbia's circuit
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will take the seat on the supreme court justice stephen breyer has held for almost three decades. so i would like to first offer a few words about justice breyer as he prepares to step down from the bench. justice breyer has served the court and the nation with grace, expertise, humility, brilliance, and unwavering dedication to justice. he has worked tirelessly o build consensus among his colleagues and he has always kept in mind the real world impact of the courts decisions on the american people. justice breyer knew that justice for some was a failure of the court. from his opinions on voting rights to reproductive rights, the affordable care act, he has been a key voice in many historic decisions that have affected so many americans. we owe him a great debt of
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gratitude, and i'm honored and privileged to call justicend breyer and dear friend, and i wish him the best in his retirement. now, in looking for justice breyer's successor, president biden said that he wanted to nominate a persuasive justice, someone in the mold of justice breyer. and with judge ketanji brown jackson, president biden has found that person. i am confident that judge jackson who clerked for justice breyer on the supreme court will follow in his footsteps as a justice and will make a lasting contribution on the court for her pragmatism, evenhandedness, and deep understanding of the constitution, and impact that the courts decisions have on all americans. and as the first african-american woman justice on the bench, judge jackson's historic nomination is an important and long overdue step
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towards making the supreme court better reflect the nation whose people the court serves. 5-4 years ago yesterday our nation, our world lost the guiding light of dr. martin luther king, jr. to assassination. that loss was incalculable. .. marching, teaching. i have no doubt that dr. king would be on the steps of the capitol as the loudest and proudest voice in support of judge ketanji brown jackson to be our next supreme court justice and the first >> the next supreme court justice and the first black woman to serve on our highest court. he would know that with the appointment and confirmation of judge jackson, we could take the long, overdue step to make
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the nation's top court look more like and better represent all of the american people. the legacy of the more just, more equal society that dr. king pushed us to create is alive and well on this confirmation and on the floor of hearing rooms in the state senate. the judiciary held four days of hearings on judge jackson's nomination, including two days of testimony from the judge herself. as we all saw, some of the questioning of judge jackson from some of my republican colleagues was nothing short of offensive, distorting her record, and continued with racism and sexism, but judge jackson responded with poise. she responded with brilliance, she calmly addressed and corrected her questioner's false and misleading premises
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and did so while demonstrating deep knowledge of the law and the constitution. respect for precedent and displaying precisely the kind of temperament, we expect of someone sitting on the nation's highest court. the hearings showed the nation that judge jackson possesses all of the essential qualities of a jurist committed to the words engraved above the entrance to the supreme court itself, equal justice under law. of course, to anyone who knew judge jackson before her introduction to the nation as a supreme court nominee, none of this was surprising. judge jackson's qualifications to serve on the supreme court are second to none. she holds broad experience across the legal profession as a supreme court clerk, as a federal public defender and as
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an attorney in private practice and as a member of the united states sentencing commission. as a federal district court judge and as a federal appellate judge. it was therefore surprising to no one that she earned a unanimous well-qualified rating from the american bar association. let me speak for a moment about one aspect of judge jackson's background that stands out, and that is her experience as a public defender. when confirmed, judge jackson will become the first ever justice with background as a public defender, and the first justice with significant criminal defense experience since the -- the service of justice thurgood marshall who retired in 1991. that work, as a federal public
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defender, has unjustly come under attack from my colleagues across the aisle, who suggest that being a public defender means that she is soft on crime. but my republican colleagues who far too often focus singularly on the constitutional right to bear arms, would do well to remember that among the constitution's other enshrined rights is the sixth amendments right to counsel in criminal cases. without that right, criminal defendants who cannot afford an attorney would find it difficult or impossible to navigate the court system with their rights protected, including the fundamental right to a speedy and fair trial. my republican friends may also want to consider that judge jackson comes from a law enforcement family with a brother and uncle serving as police officers and that she
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has won the endorsement of the fraternal order of police, the nation's largest police union. let me remind my colleagues that public defenders do not select their clients, they take on every assigned case because they are committed to preserving and defending constitutional rights for everyone. as a federal public defender, judge jackson represented the most vulnerable among us. she represented the clients others lawyers avoided and in doing so, she followed a long and honorable tradition in the american legal profession that began with john adams, stepping forward in 1770, to help the british soldiers who committed the boston massacre. because he feared that they would not receive a fair trial without adequate representation. my confirming judge jackson, we
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will affirm that the rights of those who cannot afford a lawyer are just as important as the rights of those who can pay lawyers charging $1,000 an hour, that the rights of indigent and powerless are just as important as those of the rich and the powerful. public defenders also experience firsthand and therefore understand better than other lawyers, just how our justice system treats the accused. how it treats people of color, how it treats low income people, everyday public defenders see the systemic biases and prejudices that permeate our criminal justice system. at a time when the united states holds more people behind bars than any other nation on earth including authoritarian regimes like north korea and
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china, they would benefit from a public defender background. public defenders serve as a bulwark of liberty and racial justice so we should welcome a public defender on the supreme court, especially one as well-qualified as judge jackson. her singular perspective and voice are sorely needed. judge jackson's service as a trial judge on the united states district court for the district of columbia is also of particular note in this nomination. only one of the current supreme court justices, justice sotomayor, has ever served on a trial court, and as a trial court judge, judge jackson worked to ensure that the parties before her understood her approach to deciding cases. judge jackson has explained that as a trial judge, she
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emphasized speaking directly to the individuals who appeared before her, not just to their lawyers. she used the party's names and treated them with respect. she sought to ensure that those whom her rulings would directly impact clearly understood the proceedings in which they were involved. what was happening and why it was happening. this apeach preeks to a judge who understands the importance of accessibility to the law, to a judicial process isn't shrouded in mystery and to a system that fulfills its promise of equal justice under the law to everyone. we will be fortunate to have such a justice on the supreme court of the united states. i have had the opportunity to meet with judge jackson one-on-one. i came away deeply impressed and convinced that president biden has made a great choice.
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the senate has already confirmed judge jackson three times on a bipartisan basis. most recently in june of 2021 when she was confirmed to the d.c. circuit. the senate should again confirm her with bipartisan support. and when judge jackson is confirmed and becomes justice jackson, the first african-american woman ever to take a seat on the high court, she will be an inspiration to so many across our country and around the globe. she will especially be a role model for young, black girls everywhere, showing them that in the united states of america, nothing is beyond their reach. supreme court justice thurgood marshall said, sometimes history takes things into its own hands. history says it's time for
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judge ketanji brown jackson and i'm honored for her and the court and our country make history with the confirmation and i urge my colleagues to vote judge ketanji brown jackson to the supreme court of the united states of america. >> madam president, i yield. >> thank you, madam president. madam president, we are debating the president's nominee to succeed justice stephen breyer who has served, and as a law student i had him as an advisor and i remember his guidance and counsel as i began my legal career. i have


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