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ketanji brown jackson at the senate confirmation hearing in march

PBS NewsHour

March 22, 2022

Senate Confirmation Hearings Begin for Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson


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U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson opened her Senate confirmation hearings with a pledge to act without fear or favor. The federal appeals judge would be the first Black woman on the high court. Democrats praised her and Republicans promised tough questions. John Yang reports and Lisa Desjardins and The National Journal’s Marcia Coyle join Judy Woodruff to discuss.

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Discussion Questions

  • Who is Ketanji Brown Jackson, and what is her background?
  • What is a confirmation hearing?
  • Where does a Supreme Court confirmation hearing take place?
  • Why did some Republicans criticize Jackson’s record?
  • How did Jackson explain her judicial decision-making in her introduction?

Focus Questions

In the clip of Jackson’s opening statement, she says, “I have been a judge for nearly a decade now. And I take that responsibility and my duty to be independent very seriously.” What do you think “judicial independence” is, and why did she emphasize it in her opening?

Media literacy: Why do you think the producers chose to highlight the clips of the hearing that appear in this piece? What aspects of the hearing were they trying to highlight?

Additional Resources

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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