Ketanji Brown Jackson Calls Illegal Aliens ‘Noncitizens’ in Senate Hearing

Mario Tama/SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
Mario Tama/SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s nominee to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, labeled illegal aliens in the United States as “noncitizens” before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

During the second day of her confirmation hearing before the Senate, Jackson answered a question from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) about a D.C. District Court ruling in which she bypassed federal statute to declare that former President Donald Trump’s administration could not expand expedited deportation.

“Expedited removal … a way in which Congress had given the authority to the Department of Homeland Security to make a decision about how to deport people, who are noncitizens,” Jackson stated, opting for President Joe Biden’s preferred characterization of illegal aliens.

In the 2019 case, the pro-mass immigration group Make the Road New York sued the Trump administration for its expanded expedited deportation of illegal aliens.

Whereas expedited removal had long only applied to illegal aliens who crossed by land, were encountered near the border, and had been in the U.S. for no longer than 14 days, Trump sought to expand the process to include illegal aliens encountered across the U.S. for up to two years after they arrived.

Jackson issued a preliminary injunction to halt the policy on the grounds that the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and did not sufficiently weigh the impact that the policy would have on illegal aliens.

Ketanji Brown Jackson, circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, makes brief remarks after U.S. President Joe Biden introduced her as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court during an event in the Cross Hall of the White House February 25, 2022 in Washington, DC. Pending confirmation, Judge Brown Jackson would succeed retiring Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and become the first-ever Black woman to serve on the high court. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson makes brief remarks after U.S. President Joe Biden introduced her as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court during an event in the Cross Hall of the White House February 25, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed, telling Jackson that she exceeded her legal authority because the statute left this matter to the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and did not empower a federal judge to override that judgment.

Grassley noted that Congress gave DHS “sole and unreviewable discretion whether expedited removal would apply to an alien who has not been paroled or admitted to the United States.”

“The law specifically says that Homeland Security, not the courts, was responsible for making that decision. Could you please explain why you believe a federal court could review something congress called ‘unreviewable?'” Grassley asked.

Jackson defended her ruling, stating:

The challenge was not about the actual determination. The challenge was about the procedures that the agency undertook to make that determination. And so that statute said … that the agency had ‘sole and unreviewable discretion to decide and in interpreting that, I took into account the language of that statute and the language of another statute that Congress has enacted to direct agencies with respect to the manner in which they exercise their discretion. [Emphasis added]

Later, though, the D.C. Circuit appeals court reversed Jackson’s decision.

“We hold that the district court properly exercised jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(e) over the Associations’ claims, but that there is no cause of action under the Administrative Procedure Act to scrutinize the Secretary’s designation decision so long as it falls within statutory and constitutional bounds,” the court stated.

As Breitbart News previously reported, Jackson has used the terms “noncitizen” and “undocumented non-citizens” in prior rulings rather than using the terms “alien” and “illegal alien,” which are regularly used in court and federal statutes.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here


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