‘War criminal’ comments land Supreme Court nominee in hot water — Analysis
Judge Ketanji brown Jackson, a Republican neocon, accused a former president of war crime offences
President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, was forced on Tuesday to explain several legal filings in which she allegedly referred to George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld as “war criminals”She was also defending terrorist suspects. Jackson could have made the allegation legally, but Jackson denied that she was directly referring to Bush or Rumsfeld.
Jackson – nominated by virtue of being a black woman – faced her second day of questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Interrogations about Jackson’s history of handing out emojis were a common theme. lenient sentencesSome hawkish Republicans were able to get a bone to pick over Jackson’s description of Bush’s administration.
“Why in the world would you call Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and George W. Bush war criminals in a legal filing? It seems so out of character for you,” asked Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas).
“I don’t remember that particular reference,”Jackson replied by adding: “I’d have to take a look at what you meant. I did not intend to disparage the president or the secretary of defense.”
The same questioning was also taken up by Senator Lindsey Graham (R, South Carolina).
“Did you ever accuse, in one of your habeas petitions, the government of acting as war criminals, for holding the detainees?”Graham asked about the four Guantanamo prisoners Jackson was to defend in 2005.
“I don’t remember that accusation,”Jackson responded. “What I was doing, in the context of the habeas petitions at this very early stage in the process, was making allegations to preserve issues on behalf of my clients.”
The petitions filed by Jackson allegedly named Bush and Rumsfeld – as well as two military commanders stationed at Guantanamo Bay – as responsible for the harsh treatment and torture of the detainees, which the petitions say amounted to “war crimes.”The four men were released after being cleared of any charges.
American courts have jurisdiction over cases alleging violations of international law under the Alien Tort law. This is what led to war crimes allegations. These petitions claim that Bush and Rumsfeld violated international law in the conduct of their respective businesses. “official capacity,”they were responsible to the illegal detention of and inhumane treatment for the four defendants.
Bush served as president from 2001 to 2009. Rumsfeld was the Pentagon’s chief until 2006 when he quit over his conduct in Iraq.
Graham is particularly regarded among the most prominent war-hawks within Congress. After declaring his support for war, the senator from South Carolina left the hearing. “I hope they all die in jail if they’re going to go back and kill Americans,”Referring to just a few prisoners left in Guantanamo bay.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) came to Jackson’s defense during Tuesday’s hearing. “To be clear, there was no time where you called President Bush or Secretary Rumsfeld a ‘war criminal’?”He reprimanded her.
“Correct, senator. We are grateful. This was the correct answer.”She replied.
Jackson’s words seem to have been legal boilerplate. Other petitions for Guantanamo Bay prisoners filed the same sentences on war crimes by volunteers lawyers.