By Shannon Mullen
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday pressed Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on the importance of her Christian faith, asking at one point, “Could you fairly judge a Catholic?”
The exchange took place Tuesday in the early hours of the second day of Jackson’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Currently a federal judge serving on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Jackson, 51, is President Joe Biden’s nominee to replace retiring Justice Stephen G. Breyer.
“What faith are you, by the way?” Graham asked.
“Senator, I am … Protestant,” Jackson said.
“OK …” the senator said, indicating that he wanted Jackson to elaborate.
“Non-denominational,” Jackson added.
“OK. Could you fairly judge a Catholic?”
“Senator, I have a record of fairly judging everyone,” Jackson responded.
“I’m just asking this question because, how important is your faith to you?”
“Senator, personally, my faith is very important,” Jackson said. “But as you know, there’s no religious test in the Constitution under Article 6, and —”
“There will be none with me,” Graham interjected.
“And … it’s very important to set aside one’s personal views about things, in the role of a judge,” Jackson continued.
“I couldn’t agree with you more, and I believe you can,” Graham said. “So, on a scale of 1 to 10, how faithful would you say you are?” He added that he attends his own Baptist church “probably three times a year, so that speaks poorly of me.”
Graham asked: “Do you attend church regularly?”
“Well, senator, I am reluctant to talk about my faith in this way, just because I want to be mindful of the need for the public to have confidence in my ability to separate out my personal view.”