Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation hearings: Religious liberty roundup from day three

by | Mar 23, 2022

During the third day of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing – the last for senators’ questions – Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was asked about the importance of the Free Exercise Clause by two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In one exchange, she took the opportunity to mention the Establishment Clause as well. Below are clips and descriptions of those two conversations (for more on religious liberty discussions during her confirmation hearing, see my earlier post with clips from day two).

In response to questions from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, about whether she agrees that “it’s important to accommodate the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Americans when it comes to legislation that the Congress may pass,” Judge Jackson spoke eloquently about the role of religious freedom in the founding of our democracy, calling it “a core, foundational, constitutional right.” Watch the exchange below:


Near the end of the day, Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Georgia, discussed the importance of America as a place to flee religious persecution, citing his own family’s history, and he asked Judge Jackson to talk about the free exercise of religion. She made a point of referencing both the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause, which she described as “preventing the state – the government – from preferring religion over another.” You can watch that conversation below:

You can read BJC’s review of Judge Jackson’s record here.

The fourth and final day of the confirmation hearing on Thursday will feature testimony from the American Bar Association and outside witnesses.