ICYMI: Padilla Highlights From Judge Jackson’s Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing

Padilla at Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing on March 22, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, took part in Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings to become the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. His questions during the hearings culminated in a powerful conversation around the advice Judge Jackson would give to young people watching her hearing and confirmation process.

Over the four-day series of hearings, Padilla questioned Jackson on the role the Supreme Court has in upholding the fundamental right to vote, the federal government’s legal and moral trust responsibility to and relationship with sovereign Tribal governments, and the importance of diversity among federal law clerks to improve the future diversity of our judicial branch.

Padilla also focused on the importance of treating immigrants with dignity and respect, and the challenges that courts at every level face in addressing cases involving new and emerging technologies.

During the outside panel questioning, Padilla highlighted Judge Jackson’s impeccable qualifications and urged bipartisan support for her confirmation.  


  • New York Times: Takeaways From Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Confirmation Hearings
    • Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson spent two days answering senators’ questions about her Supreme Court nomination — some easy ones from Democrats about her qualifications, and some tough ones from Republicans about, well, lots of things.
    • At the end of the day, Democratic senators brought up the history-making nature of her nomination…And when Senator Alex Padilla, Democrat of California, asked her what she’d tell young Americans who “doubt that they can one day achieve the same great heights that you have,” the moment seemed to sink in for Jackson.
    • “I hope to inspire people to try to follow this path,” she responded, “because I love this country, because I love the law, because I think it is important that we all invest in our future.”
  • Axios: The Latino groups backing Ketanji Brown Jackson for Supreme Court 
    • Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA), a member of the Judiciary committee, praised Jackson in Spanish on Monday during the opening of her confirmation hearings.
    • He also compared his own family history of migrants from Mexico to those of Jackson’s family in Miami.
    • The nation is about to “see how qualified Justice Jackson is for the Supreme Court,” he said. “You bring a wealth of other important experiences and perspectives to the Court — including as a working mother, and as a Black woman.”
  • USA Today: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson gets emotional in heartfelt exchange with Sen. Alex Padilla
    • Sen. Alex Padilla’s praise of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s accomplishments brought on an emotional response from the Supreme Court nominee.
    • “That was very moving, and I appreciate the opportunity to speak to young people. I appreciate it very much,” said Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. “I do it alot for the reasons you have articulated.”
  • Los Angeles Times: Full coverage: Sen. Booker says Ketanji Brown Jackson has shown she is worthy of being on the Supreme Court
    • California Sen. Alex Padilla (D) echoed praise for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, highlighting the double standards people of color in the United States often face.
    • “You’ve shown that you have the temperament to serve on the Supreme Court,” Padilla said. “People of color, particularly for those that have the audacity to try to be the first, often have to work twice as hard to get half the respect.”

  • Los Angeles Times: Column: Ketanji Brown Jackson’s critics won’t be the ones making history
    • A particularly moving scene came late Wednesday in Jackson’s exchange with a Democratic senator, Alex Padilla, as the Senate Judiciary Committee ended nearly 24 hours of questioning over two days.
    • Padilla, the first Latino senator from California and just the 11th in U.S. history among more than 1,300 senators, recalled the time a teacher discouraged him from applying to MIT. Jackson, visibly moved by Padilla’s story, told her own, of a lonely walk one evening her freshman year through Harvard Yard, the school’s historic center.

  • San Francisco Chronicle: California senator takes on Republican foes during hearing for Supreme Court nominee
    • As Senate Republicans continued their swiping at Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearing Wednesday, California Sen. Alex Padilla did some swiping back.
    • “People of color often have to work twice as hard to get half the respect,” Padilla said. “If (her Republican critics) really cared about Americans’ faith in the judicial system … even if they disagreed with you on the law, you should have received bipartisan support.”

  • Native News Online: Supreme Associate Justice Nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Answers Tribal Sovereignty Question at Hearing
    • After being questioned on voting rights, Senator Padilla moves on to the question of the importance of upholding tribal sovereignty.
    • in Judge Jackson’s response, she reaffirmed the already pre-established sovereignty of tribal governments.

  • Sacramento Bee: ‘Audacity to be first’: California senators push for Judge Jackson to make Supreme Court history
    • In the first day of questioning on Tuesday, Padilla and Feinstein focused on laws related to abortion, tribal entities and voting rights.
    • After highlighting Jackson’s extensive resume in a series of questions in his second round of questions, Padilla said: “People of color, especially those who have the audacity to be the first, often have to work twice as hard to get half the respect.”

  • Modesto Bee: Padilla and Feinstein were California ‘firsts.’ They want Ketanji Brown Jackson to be one, too
    • It was not lost on California’s senators Monday that they were witnessing a shift in history, whether or not the United States Senate confirms President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
    • Padilla thanked his parents, who met in the U.S. after emigrating from Mexico, for inspiring his American dream. And he said that he, like Jackson, believes “in the greatness and promise of this nation.”

  • MSNBC: The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell | 3.23.22
    • Alex Padilla’s parents came to California from Mexico, and watched their son go off to college on the other side of the country at MIT, the most selective science-oriented university in the world. He told Judge Jackson today, that just as she was discouraged by some from applying to Harvard, he was discouraged by one of his high school teachers from applying to MIT. And then he asked her what she says to young people who doubt that they can achieve what she has achieved.”
    • Judge Jackson: I hope to inspire people to try to follow this path because I love this country, because I love the law, because I think it is important that we all invest in our future, and you people are the future.
  • Telemundo: Hoy Dia | “Está más que calificada”: El senador Alex Padilla destaca la labor de la jueza Ketanji Brown Jackson | 3.21.22
    • Es importante reconocer que es un día histórico para el país, la jueza Jackson es la primera [mujer] afroamericana nominada para servir en la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos.
    • En haber estudiado su récord, es claro para mí que es más que calificada para servir en esta capacidad y la más experiencia que varios de los jueces actuales tenían a este punto del proceso cuando ellos fueron nominados por pasados presidentes.

  • KTLA: KTLA 5 Morning News at 5 | 3.24.22
    • A question from California Senator Alex Padilla left the Judge in tears.
    • Padilla: What would you say, Judge Jackson, to all those young Americans, the most diverse generation in our nation’s history, what do you say to some of them who may doubt that they can one day achieve the same great heights that you have?
    • Judge Jackson: I hope to inspire people to try to follow this path because I love this country, because I love the law, and so I want them to know that they can do and be anything.

  • Black News Channel: The World Tonight with Kelly Wright & Nayyera Haq | 3.23.22  
    • Quite a moment right there. A very emotional moment right there as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson wiping away some tears after Senator Alex Padilla zeroed in on what she would say to young people in America.
    • What a wonderful, inspirational moment.

  • New York Sun: Senator’s Switch to Spanish in High Court Hearings Called ‘Savvy’
    • During Monday’s Judiciary Committee hearings for the Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Senator Padilla began his opening statements in support of Ms. Brown Jackson’s nomination in English.
    • “La Corte Suprema decide docenas de casos cada año que afectan nuestras vidas y derechos fundamentales de los estadounidenses,” Mr. Padilla said. “Espero escuchar mas sobre la jueza y las perspectivas importantes y necesarias que traería a la Corte Suprema.”

Additional photos of Padilla in the hearings can be found here.


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