Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is headed to Capitol Hill.
Confirmation hearings. Jackson is President Biden’s pick to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer this summer. Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will kick off four days of hearings. First up: opening statements. Then grilling. If all goes as the Democrats plan, the committee will clear her and the Senate could confirm her by April 8.
Probably not. The Senate has confirmed Jackson for federal judgeships before. But some Republicans are now accusing Jackson of being “soft on crime.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said she has “a special empathy for criminals.” Also expect questions on her experience repping Guantanamo Bay detainees as a public defender, ruling against the Trump admin and requiring a former White House counsel to testify to Congress, and her approach to issues like abortion and affirmative action.
President Biden called her a "proven consensus builder." Dems also like her background as a former public defender, seeing it as something that will bring new insight to the court.
Jackson would become the first Black woman to serve as a justice. Since she’d be replacing a liberal judge, that wouldn’t change the makeup of the solidly conservative court. But it would help Biden deliver on a campaign promise ahead of the midterms.
Opening statements kick off 11am ET on all major networks. And C-SPAN.
A Supreme Court justice can help decide the country's future for decades — on issues ranging from abortion to LGBTQ+ rights to gun laws. And with the health of current justices top of mind, the Biden admin sees an opportunity to leave a mark. Stay tuned.
The Kremlin. Yesterday, Russia called on Ukrainians in Mariupol to "lay down their arms" if they want safe passage out of the southern port city. The city links Crimea with Russian-backed enclaves — and has been under heavy Russian shelling for weeks. The demand comes after Ukrainian officials say Russian forces bombed an art school where about 400 people were sheltering. Now, Ukraine is saying they’re rejecting the offer — and that there will be “no talk of any surrender.”
…Oh and, all of this comes as President Biden is set to travel to Europe later this week to “rally the world in support of the Ukrainian people."
PS: We answered your questions about the war in Ukraine here.
The New York Times. Last week, a new report into the investigation of Hunter Biden’s taxes confirmed that the laptop found in a Delaware repair shop back in 2020 was authentic. At the time, the laptop launched allegations of corruption against the president's son during then-candidate Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. But dozens of former intel experts dismissed the laptop's contents as a “Russian information operation.” News orgs and social media companies — including the Times — approached it with skepticism and limited its distribution. And Twitter temporarily took the New York Post — which first broke the story — offline. Now, the Times says the emails were "authenticated by people familiar with them" as well as with those tied to the tax investigation. President Biden and Hunter Biden have yet to comment on the new developments. Neither has Twitter. But the news has a lot of people saying they weren’t crying wolf.
Skimm’d by Rashaan Ayesh, Melanie De Lima, Kate Gilhool, Julie Shain, and Mariza Smajlaj
Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter.
Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.
As Omicron continues spreading, Americans are learning more about how variants are able to mutate and become more transmissible. Cue: More Omicron variants. Learn more here.
All US adults are now eligible for booster shots. Remember: COVID-19 vaccines first debuted in the US a year ago. Since then, gov agencies have issued a slew of new guidelines, giving Americans access to another layer of protection. Here’s what you need to know.
Got COVID questions? We did, too. "Skimm This" talked to US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy about what to call this big spike in cases, how bad things might get before they get better, and whether employers should be mandating employees get vaccinated.