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Stephen Breyer Archives – Concerned Women for America

No Shortcuts on Supreme Court Nomination

By | Breyer, Legal, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

President Joe Biden has announced Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his pick to replace Justice Stephen Breyer at the United States Supreme Court. I will have more for you on Judge Jackson’s record in the coming weeks, but right now it is crucial for us to keep our senators accountable for their essential constitutional role of “advice and consent.” There should be no shortcuts allowed for President Biden’s nominee.  

All senators should ensure they can have a private, in-person meeting with Judge Jackson to get a sense of her judicial philosophy, her character, and judicial temperament. It is not enough to examine the record on paper. This private meeting allows the senator to assess the nominee at a deeper level, without the theatrics and remarks prepared for the cameras.

President  Biden has said, “The people that I would appoint to the Court are people who have a view of the Constitution as a living document.” This is deeply disturbing. The judicial philosophy that believes the Constitution is a living document that changes with the times creates judicial activists who also believe unelected judges are the ones who get to choose these arbitrary constitutional changes. It is the judicial philosophy of personal policy preferences.

Does Judge Jackson ascribe to that judicial philosophy? Presumably, she does because President Biden selected her. So, senators should get that answer face to face and assess her judicial philosophy beyond the coached answer they are likely to get in the hearings.

President Biden has said that he wants someone with “an expansive view of the Constitution.” Does Judge Jackson share that progressive view that essentially destroys the Constitution by making it malleable to the latest political trends?

Is she committed to a particular policy position on abortion? Again, President Biden has said plainly that he does have a litmus test on abortion.

Unlike conservative nominees who are always asked to be faithful to the text of the Constitution as written, President Biden wants commitment on particular issues, so Judge Jackson should answer those questions. It is up to senators to ask those critical questions.

They must ask about her overwhelming support from radical leftist groups.

The current political climate will demand strategic engagement from you and me on this nomination because senators tend to be pragmatic. They could, seeing the numbers in the Senate, relegate this nomination to the backburner allowing the nominee to sail through, without proper vetting, thinking others are doing their due diligence. Do not allow them to do that. Demand that they be active participants in the vetting process of this nominee every step of the way.

Full Senate engagement is needed to stand up for our values beyond just senators on the judiciary committee. No stone should be left unturned.

The Constitutional standard must be defended beyond political and pragmatic calculations.

Troubling Radical Left Support Drives Ketanji Brown Jackson Choice

By | Breyer, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

Three choices were reported to be at the top of President Joe Biden’s list of possible Supreme Court nominees. Judge Michelle Childs appeared to have more broad support, even among some Republicans. But the radical left demanded Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Predictably, they got their wish.

The radical group, Demand Justice, who shamefully had trucks around Washington, D.C., asking Justice Stephen Breyer to retire, along with other radical groups like MoveOn and Indivisible, had called for Judge Brown in no uncertain terms. The move prompted Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina) to say, “The radical Left has won President Biden over yet again.”

So, who is Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson? Here is a basic rundown.

She was born in Washington, D.C., on September 14, 1970. She is 51. Last year, she became a judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, taking the seat left vacant by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. Even then, she had strong Republican opposition, being confirmed by a 53-44 vote. Only three Republican Senators, Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), voted in favor.

Before that, she was a judge at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., after being nominated by President Barack Obama and was the Vice Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission. She also clerked for Justice Breyer after graduating from Harvard Law School.

After her clerkship with Justice Breyer, Judge Jackson went to work for Goodwin Procter, a large law firm out of Boston, where she helped write an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief representing NARAL Pro-Choice America, the League of Women Voters, and the Abortion Access Project of Massachusetts, among others. The case was McGuire v. Reilly, a 2001 case where she supported a law targeting pro-life advocates trying to counsel women at abortion clinics.

Her pro-choice advocacy work has earned her the support of Big Abortion, including Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the National Women’s Law Center. They are confident she will be willing to circumvent the Constitution to promote abortion “rights.”

The same can be said for the endorsements of pro-LGBTQ groups, like the Human Rights Campaign, who are pushing the boundaries of laws protecting women in sports, women’s shelters and prisons, and multiple other areas.

Her commitment to labor unions has also been held as an important asset, especially when comparing her to other nominees. She was cheered for her enjoining an executive order by President Trump that sought to hold federal employees accountable. She was later overruled unanimously by a D.C. Circuit panel that included an Obama appointee. But this seems to boost her credibility among activists looking for judges who will be “progressive” in their ruling, despite what may be required by the text of the law and judicial procedure.

There are concerns about her religious liberty commitments, also. At her D.C. Circuit hearing, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) asked her about her involvement with a Christian school. Though she said she believed in religious liberty, she felt the need to distance herself from the Christian teachings relating to marriage that were referenced. This is an area that the Senate must fully explore.

The full review of her record is just starting, so we will have much more to come. But the preliminary report must be concerning for all freedom-loving Americans who want judges who will show the judicial restraint envisioned by the Constitution, instead of judges who interject themselves on every political and socially controversial issue with which “we the people” have vigorous disagreements to push their personal policy preferences.

U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson

By | Breyer, Legal, News and Events, SCOTUS, Vacancy | No Comments

Experience

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • United States Sentencing Commission Vice Chair
  • Assistant Federal Public Defender, Appellate Division
  • Law Clerk for Justice Stephen Breyer at the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Bruce M. Selya of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and Judge Patti B. Saris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Education

  • JD., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1996
  • Supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review
  • B., magna cum laude, in Government from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1992

Involvement

  • Board of Overseers of Harvard University
  • American Law Institute
  • C. Circuit Historical Society
  • United States Supreme Court Fellows Commission

Notable Cases

  • Fed. of Gov. Employees, AFL-CIO v. Trump – unanimously reversed by the D.C. Circuit for ignoring clear jurisdictional requirements to enjoin an executive order by President Donald Trump seeking to make it easier to hold federal workers accountable.
  • Make the Road New York v. McAleenan – unanimously reversed by D.C. Circuit. Judge Neomi Rao would have gone further and dismissed the case, believing Judge Jackson overstepped the bounds set by Congress, saying, “One of the few checks on the independent judiciary comes from Congress’s ability to set the jurisdiction of the inferior federal courts.”
  • Committee on the Judiciary v. McGahn – ordered White House counsel to President Donald Trump, Don McGahan, to testify before the House Judiciary Committee as part of its investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election saying, “The primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that Presidents are not kings.”
  • McGuire v. Reilly— authored an amicus brief representing Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and the National Women’s Law Center, among other radical groups in supporting a “buffer zone” law that targeted pro-life advocates wishing to counsel women in front of abortion clinics.

Click here for a .PDF version of this one pager on U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson

Penny Nance statement on Justice Breyer’s retirement

By | Judicial Nominations, News and Events, Press Releases, SCOTUS | No Comments

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the largest public policy organization for women in the country, had this to say on the retirement announcement of Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Stephen Breyer:

“Justice Breyer’s announcement comes as no surprise to those of us engaged in the policy, political arena. The Democrats are facing a potentially disastrous midterm election, and the left has been aggressively, and very publicly, pushing for his retirement—to their shame honestly.

“We are thankful for Justice Breyer’s service and have shown respect for him, even when we vehemently disagree with his judicial philosophy.

“But the radical left does not care. And it is that same boorish crowd we hope President Joe Biden can resist in making his nomination.

“He needs a win; we can all see that. But I hope he has learned from his recent defeats in the Senate that the radical lefts’ insistence on alienating half the country to get their way is a losing strategy.

“The president has a chance to finally unify the country with a consensus nominee, breaking away from the shameful and vile tactics we have experienced in recent Supreme Court nominations.

“No matter what, CWA’s army of happy warrior women is ready and eager to speak up for truth and justice to prevail on this nomination, against any and all odds.”

 

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