‘Could you fairly judge a Catholic?’: Sen. Graham presses Kentaji Brown Jackson on Christian faith

Shannon Mullen   By Shannon Mullen for CNA


Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies on her nomination to become an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on March 22, 2022. / Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Washington D.C., Mar 22, 2022 / 10:05 am (CNA).

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday pressed Supreme Court nominee Kentaji Brown Jackson on the importance of her Christian faith, asking at one point, “Could you fairly judge a Catholic?”

The exchange took place Tuesday in the early hours of the second day of Jackson’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Currently a federal judge serving on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Jackson, 54, is President Joe Biden’s nominee to replace retiring Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

“What  faith are you, by the way?” Graham asked.

“Senator, I am … Protestant,” Jackson said.

“OK …” the senator said, indicating that he wanted Jackson to elaborate.

“Non-denominational,” Jackson added.

“OK. Could you fairly judge a Catholic?”

“Senator, I have a record of fairly judging everyone,” Jackson responded.

“I’m just asking this question because, how important is your faith to you?”

“Senator, personally, my faith is very important,” Jackson said. “But as you know, there’s no religious test in the Constitution under Article 6, and —”

“There will be none with me,” Graham interjected.

“And … it’s very important to set aside one’s personal views about things, in the role of a judge,” Jackson continued.

“I couldn’t agree with you more, and I believe you can,” Graham said. “So, on a scale of 1 to 10, how faithful would you say you are?” He added that he attends his own Baptist church “probably three times a year, so that speaks poorly of me.”

Graham asked: “Do you attend church regularly?”

“Well, senator, I am reluctant to talk about my faith in this way, just because I want to be mindful of the need for the public to have confidence in my ability to separate out my personal view.”

Tuesday’s hearing is scheduled to conclude at 8 p.m. ET.

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  1. Her short answer would be “no” as many non-denominational, community churches do not consider Roman Catholics to be Christian unless they have been “saved”. She also noted her faith would not influence her judicial decision though she historically soft historically on pedophiles.

  2. Well armed with Harvard credentials, the nominee was asked about her involvement with a faith-filled Baptist K-12 school. To which, this:

    “’I was aware that Montrose Christian School was affiliated with Montrose Baptist Church,’ she said. ‘I was not aware [!] that the school had a public website or that any statement of beliefs was posted on the school’s website at the time of my service.’”

    Has anyone (!) ever heard of a private school that did NOT have a website??? What is one to think, really, about the level of elementary competence (let alone, K-12 or Harvard!) demonstrated by this transparently evasive response?

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