White House hits out at Ted Cruz over Ketanji Brown Jackson criticism

Texas Republican baselessly claims Jackson will be ‘the most extreme’ Supreme Court justice

Alex Woodward
New York
Tuesday 05 April 2022 14:19
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Ted Cruz asks Ketanji Brown Jackson if she believes 'babies are racist' during Senate hearing

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain has criticised comments made by Republican Senator Ted Cruz claiming that Ketanji Brown Jackson will be the “furthest-left justice” in the history of the US Supreme Court.

“Nothing in Judge Jackson’s record, experience, or temperament supports this assertion,” Mr Klain said.

Senator Cruz – who repeatedly sought to paint Judge Jackson as soft on crime and a “critical race theory” proponent during Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings last week – claimed on 4 April that she “will prove to be the most extreme and the furthest-left justice ever to serve on the Supreme Court,” without offering evidence.

His former mentor, Judge J Michael Luttig, replied to Mr Klain’s post on Twitter, adding that he “would not hesitate to retract my endorsement of Judge Jackson for the Supreme Court if there were anything at all to Senator Cruz’s statement, but there is not.”

Senator Cruz had previously worked for Judge Luttig as a federal appeals court clerk. In February, Judge Luttig – in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021 – wrote in a column for The New York Times that Senator Cruz sought to “capitalise on those ambiguities in the law to do [Donald Trump’s] bidding.”

While the committee reached a deadlocked vote on party lines to send Judge Jackson’s nomination to the US Senate for a vote, at least three Republican senators are expected to join all 50 Democrats in the evenly divided chamber to secure her seat on the nation’s high court.

Republican Senators Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have announced their support for Judge Jackson.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin criticised Republicans on the committee for interrupting her answers to their questions and accusing her “of vile things in front of her parents, her husband and her children.”

“They impugned her motives, and questioned her candour, one all but called her a liar,” he said on Monday. “Judge Jackson is a better person than me. She stayed calm and collected. She showed dignity, grace and poise.”

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