Mar 21 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, delivered opening remarks at the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Watch full video of the opening statement HERE

Senator Tillis on Judge Jackson’s nomination:

“Judge Jackson, congratulations on your nomination. I feel like you and your family have every reason to be proud…When we met in my office, I asked about your family, and you beamed with pride. I can understand why, you have parents, siblings, and family members who are public servants themselves. Now, you have gone on to continue that legacy in your public defender role and as a judge, and you should be very proud of that. We should also recognize the historic nature of this event, the first African-American female to be put forth for confirmation to the Supreme Court is quite extraordinary.”

Senator Tillis on his focus during the hearings:

“In our meeting in my office, I found you to be honest and forthcoming, and I have no doubt you have the right temperament to be a Supreme Court Justice. I also appreciated hearing how her unique perspectives and experiences as a former public defender have shaped her views. However, as I noted during your confirmation hearing for the Circuit Court, I have questions and concerns I want to ask about to weave together my conception of the right mindset of a judge on the Supreme Court. I will look into questions over the next couple of days, and I will be here for the majority of the hearings, to put together the foundation I need to make a decision on your confirmation. I will focus on better understanding your writings, political activities, and opinions with the goal of determining your judicial philosophy and whether or not it fits with my conception with the right philosophy for somebody I would vote to confirm. I intend to listen thoroughly and keep an open mind as I do with every nominee before the committee, but at the end of this week, I will ultimately have to conclude whether or not I’m comfortable with putting someone in a lifetime position.” 

Senator Tillis on the role of the Supreme Court:

“Confirming a Supreme Court Justice is one of the most important responsibilities I think I have as a U.S. Senator. The outcome of our decision will impact millions of lives and the very structure and future of our constitutional republic. Supreme Court Justices must find answers to the most pressing constitutional and legal questions of our time. They are confronted with complex questions, and many have no easy answer. That’s why it’s critical that whenever we confirm a Supreme Court Justice, we understand the nominee’s judicial philosophy and reconcile it with our conception of the best mindset to bring to the bench. In my opinion, a justice’s job is to interpret the text and words of the Constitution as written and give them their original meaning. I reject the notion that the Constitution is a living, evolutionary document that changes based on the impulses of 5 unelectedjustices. A good judge must understand that his or her job isn’t to legislate from the bench and read in their preferred policy outcomes into statutes. If the words of a statute are clear, a good judge will reach a decision based on those words, and those words alone, even if it creates an outcome they disagree with personally. In other words, in the words of Chief Justice Roberts, a good Justice has one job: calling balls and strikes. Nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes that leads to rulings Republicans like and Democrats hate. Other times that leads to rulings that Democrats like and Republicans hate. And that’s okay, because that is a Justice’s job.”