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HomeVideoWATCH: Sen. Ossoff praises Jackson’s ‘grace under pressure’ during Supreme Court questioning

WATCH: Sen. Ossoff praises Jackson’s ‘grace under pressure’ during Supreme Court questioning

Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., praised Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s “poise, strength [and] grace under pressure” over the course of multiple days of questioning as the Senate Judiciary Committee continued its Supreme Court confirmation hearings March 23.
Ossoff asked Jackson to speak about the constitutional roots and significance of the right to freely practice religion in the United States, which is protected by the First Amendment. He noted that his great-grandparents arrived in the U.S. after fleeing anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe.
Jackson said that free exercise of religion and the Establishment Clause — which prevents the government from favoring one religion over another — is “foundational.”
“It was people who fled from religious persecution and wanted to found a country in which everyone could believe what they wanted to believe and not have the government [burden] that right,” Jackson said.
Ossoff also cited New York Times v. Sullivan, a 1964 Supreme Court case in which the Court decided that First Amendment protections of freedom of speech limited when public officials could bring lawsuits over allegations of defamation.
Ossoff also asked how Jackson would approach cases in which the question of war powers comes before the Court. Jackson said there may indeed be legal questions regarding those powers that are appropriate for courts to decide, but there may also be political questions. If the executive and legislative branches disagreed over an exercise of authority that wasn’t governed by law but was within their discretion, she said, that would not be a question the court could decide.
“It would depend on exactly what the court was being asked to do as to whether or not it had jurisdiction,” Jackson said. “Under my methodology, that would be the kind of thing that I would have to carefully examine in order to determine whether I could rule.”
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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