In the course of any presidency, few nominations are as consequential as the selection of a Supreme Court justice. Members of the Supreme Court are appointed for life, and with such tenure comes enormous generational influence over how laws are interpreted.
There is no reason for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination hearing in the Senate, set to begin March 21, to become a blood sport, though both parties have long, ignominious histories of conflating the Constitutional responsibility of providing “advice and consent” with bitterly partisan performance theater of the absurd. A president should get his or her choice confirmed unless the nominee has ethical issues or unresolvable conflicts of interest. At this point, we see neither issue in Jackson’s background, nor indications that her judicial record and reasoning violate legal tenets or are out of the mainstream.
Jackson’s résumé also is outstanding and checks the traditional boxes for high court nominees. A Harvard law graduate, Jackson, 51, would be the eighth justice with a Harvard or Yale law degree on the current court. She was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last summer and before that served roughly eight years as a federal district judge. Jackson also clerked for three federal judges, including Justice Stephen Breyer, whom she is nominated to replace, and has been lauded as a hardworking, evenhanded student of the law.