EPIC Urges Senators to Question Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Key Privacy & Open Government Issues

March 21, 2022

In a letter sent Monday, EPIC urged members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to ask U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson questions about key privacy and open government issues she is likely to confront as a justice.

“We urge you to explore her views on government transparency, on Article III standing, and on the interaction of the Fourth Amendment and emerging technologies,” EPIC wrote. “Judge Jackson’s views on these issues could have far-reaching implications for civil liberties, consumer protection, and the future of privacy in the digital area.”

While serving on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Jackson issued scores of decisions in Freedom of Information Act cases, including several rulings in EPIC’s suit for records about the government’s secret use of pen register and trap-and-trace devices to collect call metadata. EPIC urged the committee to ask Judge Jackson about the role of courts in enforcing open government laws and scrutinizing agency decisions to withhold information from the public.

EPIC also advised senators to ask Judge Jackson about the Supreme Court’s recent narrowing of Article III standing doctrine, which increasingly limits Congress’s ability to establish privacy and other rights that individuals can vindicate in court. And EPIC urged the committee to ask Judge Jackson how courts’ interpretations of the Fourth Amendment should adapt to the emergence of new technologies that collect and store vast amounts of personal information.

If confirmed, Judge Jackson will succeed retiring Justice Stephen Breyer and will become the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. EPIC regularly reviews the privacy records of Supreme Court nominees, including Justice BarrettJustice KavanaughJustice GorsuchJustice KaganJustice SotomayorJustice Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts.

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