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VIDEO: Ketanji Brown Jackson Supreme Court confirmation hearings, day 1

The Senate Judiciary Committee has kicked off Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated for the nation’s highest court.

Jackson told senators she would defend the Constitution and decide cases “without fear or favor” if she is confirmed to the Supreme Court and that she was “humbled and honored” by her historic nomination.

At Monday's hearing, Democrats sought to preemptively rebut Republican criticism of her record on criminal matters as a judge and before that, as a federal public defender and a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Barring a significant misstep by Jackson, Democrats who control the Senate by the slimmest of margins intend to wrap up her confirmation before Easter. Jackson is expected to answer questions from the committee’s 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans beginning Tuesday.

The opening statement of Sen. Mike Lee is below.

Read more from NPR: Why a close vote is likely for Jackson's confirmation

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