Jackson calls her Christian faith but is mum about specifics

Judge Ketanji Jackson has placed her religious faith front and center.

Jackson calls her Christian faith but is mum about specifics

Although she has spoken out strongly about the importance of faith in her career and life, she has not gone into detail about that commitment. During her hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, her beliefs are being scrutinized.

Jackson said Monday that she would also take a moment to thank God for the strength of her faith, a statement similar to Jackson's opening remarks when President Joe Biden presented her last month as his nominee. "Even before today, I can honestly state that my life has been blessed beyond measure."

Jackson identified herself as a Protestant of nondenominational faith, she said to the committee Tuesday when she was questioned by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Graham asked her how often she attended church. Graham asked, "How faithful would you rate yourself in religion?"

Jackson responded, "I am reluctantly to talk about my religion in this way because I want the public to be aware of the need to have confidence in me ability to separate my personal views from my beliefs." Jackson noted that her faith is important, but the Constitution prohibits any religious test to run for public office.

Graham agreed, and acknowledged that she could be impartial. However, he said he was trying make a comparison to the unfair treatment of a Republican nominee in the Democratic Party. They asked if the Catholic views of Amy Coney Barrett, who was then confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, would have an impact on her decisions in cases such as Roe v. Wade. Barrett was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2020.

Graham referred to Dianne Feinstein's famous exchange between Barrett and Graham. He said: "How would I feel if a senator said, 'The Dogma lives loudly within me and that's of concern.

Jackson may not have a particular church affiliation. It is impossible to find it in Google standard searches or through a keyword search of roughly 2,000 pages of documents released from the Judiciary Committee. These documents include large portions of Jackson's public records, such as speeches and judicial orders.

Jackson often speaks out about the power of prayer and faith to motivate people, whether it's in high school graduation addresses or speeches on civil rights activists' deep faith. She shared her thoughts with Democratic Senator Cory Booker Tuesday, saying, "I focus at time on my faith when it is difficult."

The record doesn't indicate if she was a member of a particular congregation or if she held any leadership roles in a church. She also doesn't appear to attend services often.

Barbara Williams-Skinner's public life is the most important thing to her supporter.

Williams-Skinner, cofounder of the National African American Clergy Network, said that she believes she is a strong person who has faith and that they have seen it in action. Jackson's role as a public defender and making "choice to protect those who cannot defend themselves" was cited by Williams-Skinner, co-convener of the National African American Clergy Network. Sentencing Commission.

Williams-Skinner stated that even though they may not agree on many issues, she believes she will rely on her faith to be fair and to adhere to the Constitution.

The majority of justices in the court have been Protestant historically. Today, however, the court is composed of six Catholic, one Protestant, and two Jewish justices. However, this number will drop by one with the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer. Neil Gorsuch, the only Protestant on the court, was raised Catholic but has been attending Protestant services since recent years.

Jackson has been involved in some cases involving the church-state law. However, Jackson has not offered a solution.

During Senate confirmation hearings in 2021 for a position at the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, Senators asked her if she was comfortable with court rulings that overturned state restrictions regarding funding religious institutions and public worship during the pandemic.

In a written response to senators, she stated that the Constitution "protects fundamental and foundational rights to religious liberty." She also noted that the Supreme Court had been examining the implications of "how to treat religious organisations differently" and she would be bound by those precedents.

She stated that she had not yet expressed personal opinions about the boundaries and scope of the fundamental right of religious liberty.

Roger Severino, a senior fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center and former Director of the Office for Civil Rights at Department of Health and Human Services under the Trump administration, stated that while this answer may have been sufficient for appellate-level positions, senators should press for more information about her philosophy.

Senators should question Severino's judicial philosophy on matters like religious liberty and government actions.

Severino stated that "She gave platitudes." "Nobody is going to stand up and declare, 'I'm against religious freedom.' But, when she is on the Supreme Court she does not have to follow Supreme Court precedents. She could decide to overrule Supreme Court precedent.

Jackson was previously a member of the Montrose Christian School's board. This private school is located in Maryland and affiliated with a Southern Baptist Church. The school's statement reflected the denomination's doctrinal positions against same-sex marriages and abortions and stated that a wife should "submit graciously" to her husband.

During her appellate hearing, she was asked about the role she will play in 2021. She said that she didn't know of the statement and does not agree with the statements of all boards she serves.

Severino contrasted Jackson’s response to how Barrett was criticized because he affiliated with a Christian school that held similar beliefs. "Because it is one of theirs, the left gives (Jackson), a pass."

Rachel Laser, the CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, stated that she was fine with Jackson highlighting her faith and God.

Laser stated that "when someone is in an important life moment, it's appropriate to them be authentic about who are," pointing out that Biden frequently cites his Catholic faith publicly.

She said that as long as they are supporting church-state separation in official capacities and are conscious of the fact that they are speaking to a diverse audience, authenticity is fine.


 

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