Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar questioned Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on Tuesday about the right to vote, antitrust laws and journalists’ role in democracy as the judge seeks confirmation as the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s high court.
“You come before us with this incredible strength, legal acumen [and] grace under pressure that you have demonstrated today,” Klobuchar told Jackson during a roughly half hour of questions and comments.
As this week’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee continued, Jackson faced at times heated questioning Tuesday from Republicans on the committee on her judicial record and career.
Klobuchar, a Democratic member of the panel, asked what work can be done to maintain public confidence in the court. The judge made clear that “public confidence in the court is crucial” and pointed to her own family’s history that she said showed her grandparents had a grade school education and her parents “were the first in their families to get to go to college.”
“This nomination, against that backdrop, is significant to a lot of people,” Jackson said. “And I hope that it will bring confidence. It will help inspire people to understand that our courts are like them. That our judges are like them.”
Tuesday’s hearing allowed Klobuchar to ask about topics the senator has focused on in Washington including voting and antitrust laws. Klobuchar had a similar focus during recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings, for Justices Kavanaugh and Coney Barrett.
“What role do you think that Congressional intent should play in the court’s interpretation of the antitrust laws?” Klobuchar asked.
Jackson answered in part that “courts are not policymakers and judges should not be importing their own policy preferences.”
Jackson was announced as Democratic President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court pick last month. Democrats hold a narrow majority in the Senate, but could approve Jackson’s nomination on the strength of their party’s control of the chamber alone, without GOP support.
Senator Klobuchar has made antitrust a focus of her political career, often calling for closer scrutiny over growing concentration in US industry. “We have a major monopoly problem in this country, which harms consumers and threatens free and fair competition across our economy,” said Klobuchar in March 2021, when introducing a sweeping antitrust bill to the senate floor. “Companies need to be put on notice that exclusionary behavior that threatens competition cannot continue.”
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