Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., questioned Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the Senate Judiciary Committee continued its Supreme Court confirmation hearings on March 22, raising a few topics that had not yet been discussed on day two of the hearings, including abortion and gender representation on the high court.
On abortion, Jackson said Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey — two prominent Supreme Court rulings that established the right to abortion without an undue burden — are settled precedent.
“Roe and Casey are the settled law of the Supreme Court concerning the right to terminate a woman’s pregnancy. They have established a framework that the court has reaffirmed,” Jackson said.
Feinstein, who was the first female senator on the committee to question Jackson and one of just four women on the 22-person committee, also asked Jackson about achieving near gender equity on the high court.
The judge said that since she was nominated, she’s gotten notes, letters and photos from little girls who have had the opportunity to think about the law in a new way and see opportunities because Jackson is a Black woman.
“One of the things that having diverse members of the court does is it provides for the opportunity for role models,” Jackson said.
She added, “It supports public confidence in the judiciary when you have different people, because we have such a diverse society.”
Jackson 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. After opening statements from Jackson, her colleagues and the senators March 21, senators will spend two days questioning Jackson at length about her rulings and judicial philosophy. 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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