Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s carefully crafted responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee about her record may have made liberal activists cheer, but for Tennesseans reading between the lines, her answers raised serious concerns about her ability to execute the most important duty of a Supreme Court Justice: safeguarding the Constitution.
Tennesseans want a Justice who will preserve their rights, not a judicial activist who will attempt to make policy from the bench. Historically, Supreme Court nominees have been happy to prove their worth; our most recent conservative nominees provided solid judicial records defined by their willingness to stay true to the text of the Constitution and respect the rule of law. Judge Jackson has not done this, and that’s precisely my concern with her nomination: Judge Jackson’s judicial record reflects a disturbing pattern of liberal politicking rather than preserving constitutional rights.
During the height of the COVID 19 pandemic, she advocated for the mass “compassionate” release of all 1,500 criminals in the custody of the D.C. Department of Corrections. She also used the pandemic as an excuse to release a fentanyl dealer, a heroin-addicted bank robber, and a convict who murdered a U.S. Marshal. Throughout her career, she has consistently let child-porn offenders off easy, pushing back against mandatory minimum sentences and refusing to apply sentencing enhancements. In her own words, it is a “mistake” to “assume that child pornography offenders are pedophiles.”
There is perhaps no clearer demonstration of the left’s influence on Judge Jackson than her willingness to play along with race and gender politics. During the hearing, I asked her a very simple question: “can you provide a definition for the word woman?” She refused to answer. At a time when biological males are encouraged to steal opportunities from female athletes in the name of progressivism, Judge Jackson’s failure to answer indicates a belief that “woman” is too controversial a term to define. She also currently serves on the board of a school that actively promotes critical race theory (CRT) in the classroom, and in public statements she has opened the door to the application of CRT in sentencing policy.
Tennessee moms and dads are troubled by the slow creep of progressive politics into their kids’ lives. They want to know that the Supreme Court will defend the Constitution, not brush it aside. When I was sworn into office, I took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” and during Judge Jackson’s confirmation hearing, I asked tough questions to see if she would do the same. Instead of feeling confident that she would, I left with even more concerns about her judgment.
The Constitution is bigger than one person. It is bigger than one political issue. It is a promise to the next generation of Americans that their freedom is ensured. Judge Jackson has demonstrated by her record, lack of a judicial philosophy, and wishy-washy performance before the Judiciary Committee that she is willing to let politics interfere with that promise. Ultimately, I will vote against Judge Jackson’s confirmation, but it is my hope that if she does have the honor of serving on the highest court in the land, she will rise to the occasion and embrace her role as a guardian of the Constitution.