The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee holds its final day of confirmation hearings Thursday for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to a seat on the Supreme Court.
Lawmakers will hear statements from outside witnesses, including officials from the American Bar Association, law professors, and representatives from civil rights, law enforcement and religious rights groups.
Following Thursday’s session, committee members will consider Jackson’s nomination before holding a vote on whether to send it on to the full Senate for consideration.
On the third day of confirmation hearings Wednesday, Jackson once again defended her record to Republican members, with Republican Senator Thom Tillis suggesting Jackson possessed a kind nature that made her too lenient in sentencing decisions as a federal trial judge.
Jackson gave a lengthy response, saying she often sought to explain to defendants the impact of their actions with the aim of reducing the likelihood that they would commit more crimes on their release.
Republican Senator Lindsay Graham was more combative as he continued to ask Jackson about her sentencing decisions as a judge, repeatedly interrupting her when she tried to answer. He also brought up the contentious 2018 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
A friendlier questioner, Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, asked Jackson why she felt it was important for U.S. democratic institutions such as the courts to reflect the diversity of the nation.
Jackson answered that among other reasons, it "bolsters public confidence in our system."
"We have a diverse society in the United States. There are people from all over who come to this great nation and make their lives," she said.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.