Republicans who were worried about the impact of race on the legal system supported Judge Jackson at various points throughout her ascent through the federal judiciary.
During her confirmation hearing to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last year, Republican Senator John Cornyn questioned her about this, to which she responded:
I would believe that race would be the kind of thing that would be wrong to incorporate into my evaluation of, therefore I’m carefully and intentionally putting away personal beliefs, any other inappropriate considerations, etc.
She has reportedly taken a step back from a number of cases to prevent any perception of prejudice, including those that would conflict with her responsibilities as a trustee on the Harvard Board of Trustees, according to her Senate questionnaire.
One told the story of a professor who sued the Environmental Protection Agency after it made a FOIA request. Another questioned the Department of Education’s guidelines for college sexual assault, and Harvard was rethinking its response.
Harvard Nominated Judge Jackson
After being elected to the board in 2016, the Coalition for a Diverse Harvard proposed Judge Jackson as a candidate to help “safeguard campus diversity.”
The alliance supported the school’s affirmative action policy, according to one of its announcements from the time, and thought that its slate would triumph over one that included candidates who had openly opposed it.
As a sitting federal judge, he felt “duty bound” to refrain from expressing his personal thoughts on important issues that might be brought up in court, therefore he declined to respond to the affirmative action inquiry.
By selecting Judge Jackson, President Biden carried out a campaign promise to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court.
Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University Law School is one of the legal experts who have stated that Mr. Biden applied “exclusionary criteria” in assessing primarily Black women as viable competitors for the vice presidency.
The president’s rules, in Mr. Turley’s opinion, were unjust to whatever he chose as his candidate because she would then have to decide whether or not those same criteria should be used in college admissions.
Jackson, Judge Interview
Mr. Turley claimed in an interview that Judge Jackson’s race had nothing to do with his recommendation that she recuse herself.
To see a judge vote on a university issue where she formerly sat on the board of trustees would be surprising to the majority of people, let alone the Supreme Court.
He said that it would be similar to a court ruling on an Exxon lease dispute after having served as a member of the Exxon board.