Last week, President Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson (currently of the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit) to the Supreme Court. If confirmed by the Senate, Jackson would replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his retirement at the beginning of February. Her confirmation is likely, given that only a bare majority of the Senate is necessary and Vice President Harris would cast the tie-breaking vote.
Pro-life organizations are universally dismayed by the pick. Of course, no one expected Biden to select a vocal right-to-life advocate. But other women on Biden’s reported short list, like Judges J. Michelle Childs and Leondra Kruger, had relatively sparse records on the question. By contrast, Jackson’s pro-abortion record is clear and there is no hope for moderation.
Shortly after law school, Jackson clerked for Justice Breyer. This was at the time Breyer authored the opinion in Stenberg v. Carhart, which struck down a Nebraska law against partial-birth abortion. Supreme Court clerks typically prepare the first drafts of opinions, which makes it very possible that these chilling words from Stenberg were actually written by Jackson herself:
The statute forbids “deliberately and intentionally delivering into the vagina a living unborn child, or a substantial portion thereof, for the purpose of performing a procedure that the person performing such procedure knows will kill the unborn child.” We do not understand how one could distinguish, using this language, between D&E (where a foot or arm is drawn through the cervix) and D&X (where the body up to the head is drawn through the cervix). Evidence before the trial court makes clear that D&E will often involve a physician pulling a “substantial portion” of a still living fetus, say, an arm or leg, into the vagina prior to the death of the fetus. Indeed D&E involves dismemberment that commonly occurs only when the fetus meets resistance that restricts the motion of the fetus: “The dismemberment occurs between the traction of … [the] instrument and the counter-traction of the internal os of the cervix.” And these events often do not occur until after a portion of a living fetus has been pulled into the vagina . . . Nor does the statute anywhere suggest that its application turns on whether a portion of the fetus’ body is drawn into the vagina as part of a process to extract an intact fetus after collapsing the head as opposed to a process that would dismember the fetus.Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914, 939 (internal citations omitted).
As if any further proof of her abortion extremism were needed, she went on to oppose freedom of speech for sidewalk counselors, representing the Abortion Access Project of Massachusetts and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Justice Breyer will remain on the Court long enough to cast his vote in Dobbs, so this nomination will not have an immediate effect on the so-close-we-can-taste-it possibility of overturning Roe. The concerns are more long-range; as we noted when Justice Breyer made his retirement announcement, “nominating a young Justice will give the dying abortion ideology a voice on the Court for decades after Roe‘s reversal.” Judge Jackson is 51 years old. She could easily serve for another thirty years.
Contact your Senators and urge them to oppose Judge Jackson’s elevation to the Supreme Court.