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Here’s what Nebraska and Iowa senators said on the first day of the U.S. Supreme Court hearings

America Protests Congress Republicans
Posted at 12:27 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 14:14:12-04


Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska spent his opening statement criticizing Democrats for bullying either current or former Supreme Court nominees who did not align with their views.

“This process is broken,” Sasse said, adding that the Senate has an opportunity to approach the hearing with respect.

“This process is supposed to be a careful, thoughtful investigation of a nominee’s record to help the Senate make an informed decision on a nominee’s fitness for a lifetime appointment,” Sasse said. 


First-term Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff invoked the vigilante killing of ​​Ahmaud Arbery, a Black jogger, in 2020 in Brunswick, Georgia, and subsequent nonprosecution by local authorities, to argue that the United States often fails to deliver on the ideals promised in the Constitution.

The Supreme Court “remains essential to that national process of becoming in real life what America is in text,” he said.

Noting that, if confirmed, Jackson would hear cases “well into the middle of this century,” the Senate’s youngest member said he looked forward to learning how Jackson would consider constitutional questions that have not been raised before.

Those questions include “protections against unreasonable search and seizure in an age of ubiquitous surveillance,” war powers where the law is unsettled between the executive and legislative branches, and First Amendment freedoms.


Republican Sen. John Kennedy focused his opening remarks on the role of the judiciary, which he said should be constrained to interpreting laws created by Congress, not creating them.

“Judicial power is important,” Kennedy said. “So is judicial restraint.”

Kennedy said it was crucial to balance representative government and what he called declarative government. Judges must make decisions that are sometimes at odds with popular opinion, he said.

The judiciary should not be a “mini-Congress,” Kennedy said, but should be insulated from political forces.

“Federal judges don’t make law,” he said. “They don’t tell us what the law ought to be. They tell us what the law is.”

Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nebraska Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Cate Folsom for questions: Follow Nebraska Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.

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