Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton defended Senate floor remarks in which he claimed that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson would have defended Nazis at the Nuremberg trials.
“Judge Jackson represented terrorists in three cases and she called American soldiers war criminals. I have no patience for it,” Cotton told reporters on Wednesday, according to Politico’s Burgess Everett. During her time as a federal public defender, Jackson worked on the defense teams of several Guantanamo Bay terrorism detainees, activities that Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee repeatedly raised during her confirmation hearings. Jackson also helped draft amicus briefs arguing in favor of the constitutional arguments of several detainees during her time at a top Washington, DC law firm. (RELATED: ‘Hope They All Die In Jail’: Sen. Lindsey Graham Storms Out Of hearing During Heated Exchange Over Guantanamo Detainees)
Rare Sen. Tom Cotton hallway comment defending yesterday’s remarks about KBJ’s record : “Judge Jackson represented terrorists in three cases and she called American soldiers war criminals. I have no patience for it”
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) April 6, 2022
In Tuesday floor remarks, Cotton unfavorably compared Ketanji Brown Jackson to former Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, who served as the lead American prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials following World War II.
“You know the last Justice Jackson left the Supreme Court to go to Nuremberg and prosecute the case against the Nazis. This Judge Jackson might have gone there to defend them,” Cotton said.
Prominent liberals blasted the comparison, with Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison calling Cotton a “maggot-infested man” who “doesn’t deserve to be in the U.S. Senate.”
“He doesn’t even realize he just came out against due process. What a joke,” Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar added.
Senate Democrats expect to confirm Jackson to the Supreme Court to replace Associate Justice Stephen Breyer by Friday. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah have pledged to join all 50 Democrats in supporting Jackson’s nomination.
Jackson has defended her record as a defense attorney, citing criminal defendants’ constitutional rights to an attorney.
“The people who were being accused by our government of having engaged in actions related to this, under our constitutional scheme, were entitled to representation, were entitled to be treated fairly. That’s what makes our system the best in the world. That’s what makes us exemplary,” she said during her confirmation hearing.