Ketanji Brown Jackson Refuses to Say Whether Individuals Have Natural Rights 

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 22, 2022.
Andrew Harnik / AP

President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson refused to say if she holds a position on whether individuals have natural rights.

Jackson refused to comment on her beliefs on natural rights in a post-hearing written question and answer from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Please explain, in your own words, the theory prevalent among members of the Founding Fathers’ generation that humans possess natural rights that are inherent or inalienable,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked Jackson.

Jackson recognized that natural rights are embedded into our country’s founding documents in her response.

She said:

The theory that humans possess inherent or inalienable rights is reflected in the Declaration of Independence, which states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Next, Cruz asked Jackson, “do you hold a position on whether individuals possess natural rights, yes or no?”

“I do not hold a position on whether individuals possess natural rights,” Jackson said.

Cruz called Jackson’s response “stunning” in a tweet sent Saturday evening. “This is stunning,” Cruz wrote. “The Declaration of Independence proclaims: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights….’ KBJ says she has ‘no position’ on whether this is true.”

Other social media users called Jackson’s inability to answer the natural rights question “disqualifying” or a “trojan horse for tyranny.”

“This should be automatically disqualifying,” one user tweeted.

“If Judge Ketanji Jackson doesn’t recognize the natural rights given to us by our Creator – the literal bedrock of American values – she absolutely cannot be confirmed to the SCOTUS,” one user wrote. “This woman is a massive threat to basic human liberty. She’s a Trojan horse for tyranny.”

“The Constitution and the original Bill of Rights is based solidly upon Natural Rights, hence, unalienable,” another user tweeted. “Ketanji disqualifies herself with this answer.”

“If we don’t possess natural rights, then the “self-evident” truths of the Declaration are simply a fiction. And Ketanji Brown Jackson and her colleagues become mere dispensers of Melian justice,” Tom Shakely tweeted.

“They believe our rights come from man. Simple as that,” Benjamin Weingarten tweeted.


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