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Keeping an eye on the Supreme Court nominee hearing

Supreme Court
Posted at 5:53 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 18:17:35-04

(LEX 18) — The confirmation hearing for Ketanji Brown Jackson is the fourth such proceeding for a Supreme Court seat in the past five years.

The last three nominees were under former President Donald Trump, and all were confirmed by narrow margins with few votes from the Democratic Party.

LEX 18 spoke to two central Kentucky college professors about what they are looking for during the days of hearings.

Both professors point out during these hearings, they at times get contentious, and resemble political theater. What they're focused on, in part, is judicial philosophy.

Dr. Wilfred Reilly from Kentucky State says he's looking to learn how Judge Jackson reads into the constitution and what weight precedent cases carry.

"What are her views on executive power. How can executive power be checked? How can government overreach be slowed down, is a line of questions I would ask her," said Reilly.

Johnathan Shaub with UK says he's curious as to Jackson's thoughts on the institution of the Supreme Court as a whole.

Even though the questioning will be a long process, both expect Jackson to be confirmed.

"I just don't see anything that's come out or any question that's been asked that would derail her confirmation. I mean, she was confirmed by the same Senate with bipartisan support not that long ago," said Shaub.

The justice that Jackson would replace, Stephen Breyer, was confirmed by an 87-9 vote less than 30 years ago.

Both professors say those days of widespread bipartisan approval appear to be in the rearview mirror. So they expect this to be a close vote considering the Senate is 50-50, with Democratic Vice President Harris serving as a potential tiebreaker.