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HomeVideoWATCH: Jackson stresses the importance of public defenders

WATCH: Jackson stresses the importance of public defenders

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson stressed the importance of a right to counsel during the third day of her confirmation hearings March 23.

Responding to a question from Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., she pointed back to the foundational Gideon v. Wainwright case centering on a criminal defendant in Florida. The justices decided based on that case that the Sixth Amendment, which grants the right to a trial, also granted the right to appointed counsel.

“One of the things that I see or saw as a trial judge is that it was crucial for our justice system to have representation from both sides. It was the only way that a judge can really make fair determinations” Jackson said.

“Having lawyers for criminal defendants AIDS in that process and benefits us all in our criminal justice system,” she added.

Jackson’s history representing clients as a public defender has been a focus for Republicans throughout the hearings, specifically her work with detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Wednesday was senators’ final day to question Jackson, who was nominated by President Joe Biden in February to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. If confirmed, she will be the first Black woman on the high court. On the final day of the hearings March 24, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from friends and colleagues of Jackson about her temperament and approach to the law.

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