Ketanji Brown Jackson faces Day 2 of tough questions

Ketanji Brown Jackson was in the hot seat on Day 2 and pushed back against GOP claims that she is soft on crime.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was in the hot seat during Day 2 of her confirmation hearing to the nation’s highest court.

It’s there she talked about limits to a judge’s authority saying she tries to stay in her lane.

“I believe that judges are not policymakers. Judges exercise their authority to interpret the law and not make the law.”

She faced questions from both sides of the aisle as Republicans asked about her interpretation of the constitution.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked: “Do the first amendment, free speech protections, apply equally to conservative and liberal protesters?”

Jackson said: “Yes, senator.”

Republicans raised concerns about her work as a public defender representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay and then shifted the line of attack on Jackson’s record sentencing defendants convicted of child sexual abuse.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) said: “Judge Jackson handed down a lenient sentence that was below what the federal guidelines represented.”

Jackson told the committee she used the guidelines set by Congress to determine prison terms and added additional restraints.

“In every case when I am dealing with something like this it is important to me to make sure that the children’s perspective, the children’s voices are represented in my sentencing.”

The 51-year-old who grew up in South Florida is considered the most heavily vetted Supreme Court nominee in three decades.

“I come to this position to this moment as a judge who comes from practice,” Jackson said.

The White House said President Biden watched parts of her hearings on Monday and Tuesday and that he is moved by the grace and dignity that she has shown.

About the Author:

Ben Kennedy is an Emmy Award-winning Washington Bureau Chief for Local 10 News. He has more than a decade of reporting experience nationwide.