Jackson pledges to decide cases ‘without fear or favor’

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Senate Judiciary Committee has kicked off Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated for the nation’s highest court. The 51-year-old federal judge would be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court.

At Monday’s hearing, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson told senators that she will defend the Constitution and decide cases “without fear or favor” if she is confirmed to the Supreme Court. She delivered a brief opening statement Monday at her high court confirmation hearing.

Things will get more pointed on Tuesday when she takes her first questions from senators, including several firmly opposes to her. She is the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court. Jackson said she is “humbled and honored” by her historic nomination.

Democrats sought to preemptively rebut Republican criticism of her record on criminal matters as a judge and before that, as a federal public defender and a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

Barring a significant misstep by Jackson, Democrats who control the Senate by the slimmest of margins intend to wrap up her confirmation before Easter.

It’s not yet clear how aggressively Republicans will go after Jackson, given that her confirmation would not alter the court’s 6-3 conservative majority.