March 25, 2022

Senator Hirono Reflects on Nomination Hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a series of videos sharing her thoughts on the Committee’s hearings this week to consider the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. In the videos, Senator Hirono reflects on Judge Jackson’s qualifications to serve on the Court, the impact of her historic nomination, the baseless attacks launched by Committee Republicans, and more. Yesterday, Senator Hirono released a statement upon the conclusion of the confirmation hearings. That statement can be found here.

Links to each video are available below, along with full transcripts:


Video 1: Senator Hirono on Judge Jackson’s Performance in the Hearings

“I think she did great. She showed us the kind of judicial temperament that we need in anyone who is a Supreme Court Justice. Under repeated, as far as I’m concerned, attacks over and over, and harassment from some of my Republican colleagues—she kept her composure, she responded over and over in a very patient way.”

A link to Video 1 is available here.


Video 2: Senator Hirono on Judge Jackson’s Qualifications to Serve on the Supreme Court

“What I hope the watchers got was, again, how committed she is, how her family—she comes from a law enforcement family, she understands what it means to fight for the country. Her brother volunteered to be in the military after 9/11. She comes from a number of law enforcement people in her own family. There is no question that she comes to the Supreme Court with the kind of experience that I don’t think any of the other justices have.

The other really important thing is that she is the first Justice nominee to have a background as a public defender, and we haven’t had anyone with that kind of background since Thurgood Marshall. It’s really important that our justices have a range of experiences, and again in her case, she clerked for three judges including Justice Breyer who she is going to be taking the place of. She has been a public defender, she has experience in private practice—you know this is my fourth Supreme Court hearing and I conclude that she is truly the most well-prepared, the most fair-minded, even-handed person to be nominated.

Today was really terrific because someone she has known and been friends with for over, close to thirty, forty-years from when they were in elementary school together, also said that she showed the qualities of kindness, patience, compassion, leadership…at a very young age and everyone just really admired and loved her. That was a really important part of the person that she is.”

A link to Video 2 is available here.


Video 3: Senator Hirono on the Impact of Judge Jackson’s Historic Nomination

“It came home to me that she is going to be such an important person to be on the Supreme Court, especially when she talked about her time at Harvard and how someone she didn’t know, another Black student I assume, saw her and leaned close to her and said to her, “persevere.”

That is something that a lot of us can relate to including myself as a poor immigrant kid to persevere in life. I really related to her and I really, it was brought home to me even more how important it is going to be, especially for Black women and Black girls all across the country, how important it is going to be to see Judge Jackson on the Supreme Court. That kind of image, that kind of representation is critical.

A link to Video 3 is available here.


Video 4: Senator Hirono on Baseless GOP Attacks

“I think that, the fact that they really, I think, were struggling to find something, some basis in which to attack her because as I’ve said, she is so extremely well-qualified and well-regarded across the political spectrum.

They kept focusing on trying to show that she is soft on crime which she isn’t because she has the support of police organizations and police leaders across the country. And that she was lenient on child pornography defendants which she wasn’t—she was very much within the norm of the kind of sentences that other judges had given to these kinds of defendants including, by the way, a number of judges who my Republican colleagues had supported during their confirmation hearings.”

A link to Video 4 is available here.