Skip to content

Durbin Delivers Opening Remarks at Judiciary Committee Markup on Supreme Court Nominee Judge Jackson

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today delivered his opening remarks at the Judiciary Committee markup on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The Committee also considered the nominations of Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis, nominee to be United States Circuit Judge for the Sixth Circuit; Arianna J. Freeman, nominee to be United States Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit; Evelyn Padin, nominee to be United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey; Jennifer H. Rearden, nominee to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York; Robert Steven Huie, nominee to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of California; and Vanessa Roberts Avery, nominee to be United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.  The Senate Judiciary Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. next Monday, April 4, to vote on Judge Jackson’s nomination and those of the other nominees listed on today’s agenda.

Key quotes:

“I came away, personally, very impressed. It is clear why she has been reported out of this Committee three times before with bipartisan support.  We saw her qualifications and broad legal experience. We saw her devotion—to her family, her country, and the rule of law. We saw her commitment to liberty, justice, and the Constitution. A Constitution that should work for all Americans.”

“And when there was an issue with temperament, the majority on both sides, were fair and respectful…In the face of gross distortions of her record and repeated false attacks on her motives, Judge Jackson showed rocksteady grace and poise. She was, in short, a model for judicial temperament, a virtue which all of us in public life should aspire to.”

“My Republican colleagues should keep in mind that they supported many of President Trump’s nominees who also declined labels on their judicial philosophies. Judge Jackson’s philosophy may not be described by a catchword, but it reflects the proper role of a judge in our system—to listen to the parties, [to] approach each case without favoritism, [to] set aside her personal views, and to apply the law to the facts.”

“As independent fact-checkers and former federal judges have attested, Judge Jackson’s record is well within the mainstream of 70 to 80 percent of federal court judges. Even a conservative former federal prosecutor in the National Review dismissed many of the attacks as ‘meritless to the point of demagoguery.’”

“Considering all that we heard, it’s no surprise that Judge Jackson enjoys such broad and deep support, including from law enforcement, conservative lawyers, and judges. These voices across the political and ideological spectrum know, as we know, that Judge Jackson embodies all the qualities that one expects to be appointed to the highest court in the land.”

“She referred to the first African American to serve as a federal judge, Judge Constance Baker Motley. Judge Jackson said ‘like Judge Motley, I have dedicated my career to ensuring that the words engraved on the front of the Supreme Court building, ‘Equal Justice Under Law,’ are a reality and not just an ideal.’ I can think of no more important quality in a Supreme Court nominee than [this] dedication to equal justice.”

Video of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s opening statement is available here for TV Stations.