Watch live: Ketanji Brown Jackson faces questions on Day 2 of Supreme Court confirmation hearings

Durbin pushed back Tuesday against two Republicans — Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and Josh Hawley (Mo.) — who reported in opening statements Monday that they will aggressively question Jackson on issues of race and sentences for sex offenders.

Durbin called his colleagues’ comments “extreme” and “meritless.”

During her opening statement, Blackburn suggested, among other things, that Jackson might have a “personal hidden agenda” to incorporate critical race theory into “our legal system.” The theory, Blackburn said, espouses that the United States is a “fundamentally racist country.”

“It was a starting moment,” Durbin said Tuesday on CNN. “Senator Blackburn said some things that were pretty extreme. And the worst part, let’s be honest about it, is there sits Judge Jackson unable to respond.”

In his opening statement, and in a later TV appearance, Hawley voiced concerns that Jackson, as a district court judge, had “consistently” given “lenient sentences” to sex offenders.

“He isn’t listening to his critics,” Durbin said, ticking off a list of publications that have concluded that Hawley’s line of attack is misleading.

“The charges being made against this nominee are meritless to the point of demagoguery,” Durbin said. “It’s terrible that he has taken this approach, and unfortunate that he thing to do it in front of his family. There is no truth to his charges, and he’s been told over and over, but he is bound and determined to make his case for those political followers who listen to Senator Hawley.”

Leave a Comment