Ketanji Brown Jackson Courted Controversy In 2023: Here Are 3 Instances That Grabbed Our Attention

by Gee NY
Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson answers questions during the second day her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. Image Credit: Greg Nash

The first Black female Supreme Court Justice. Ketanji Brown Jackson, in her first year on the bench last year, was a focal point of attention. This was due to several controversies surrounding her actions and opinions.

So while 2023 was marked by heightened scrutiny of the Supreme Court’s ethics, Justice Jackson in particular faced her share of challenges that often made the headlines.

Shine My Crown delves into three instances that stirred debate and discussion.

  1. Ethics Violation Allegations

An ethics complaint filed by the conservative Center for Renewing America accused Justice Jackson of repeatedly failing to disclose her husband’s income from medical malpractice consulting fees.

The complaint highlighted admissions in her amended disclosure form for 2020, submitted during her nomination process, where she acknowledged omissions regarding her husband’s income. The Center urges the Judicial Conference to refer the complaint to Attorney General Merrick Garland for a thorough investigation.

  1. Disclosure Errors Under Senate Scrutiny

During a Senate hearing that initially focused on Justice Clarence Thomas’s ethics, Senator John Kennedy brought attention to transparency gaps in Justice Jackson’s disclosures.

He pointed out that Jackson made multiple amendments just three days after her nomination by President Biden, amendments that were not thoroughly discussed during her confirmation hearings. This raised questions about the differing levels of scrutiny faced by different justices regarding disclosure issues.

  1. Dissent on Affirmative Action Decision

In a notable dissent during the June ruling on Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, Justice Jackson criticized the majority opinion that deemed affirmative action policies in college admissions unconstitutional.

Her dissent argued against the majority’s “colorblindness for all” approach, asserting that ignoring race in law doesn’t erase its significance in real-life experiences.

The dissent prompted a strong rebuke from Justice Thomas, who challenged Jackson’s views on the legacy of slavery and inherited wealth, emphasizing the importance of individual achievement.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s first year on the Supreme Court was undeniably eventful, marked by controversies that brought her decisions and actions into the spotlight.

As the legal landscape continues to evolve, Justice Jackson’s role on the bench is likely to remain a subject of keen observation and discussion.

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