“Judge Jackson has several family members in law enforcement, and we believe this has given her a deep understanding of, and appreciation for, the challenges and complexities confronting the policing profession,” Chief Dwight E. Henninger, IACP president, wrote in the letter, first obtained by POLITICO..
“During her time as a judge, she has displayed her dedication to ensuring that our communities are safe and that the interests of justice are served,” Henninger added. “We believe that Judge Jackson’s years of experience have shown she has the temperament and qualifications to serve as the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.”
The endorsement comes a week before Jackson’s hearings are set to begin in the committee. A number of Republican senators have questioned Jackson’s public defender background, labeling her as soft on crime.
When Biden announced Jackson as his nominee he highlighted her familial connection to law enforcement as well as her experience as public defender. If confirmed, Jackson would be the first public defender to sit on the Supreme Court. Aside from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Jackson would be the only other justice on the court with experience as a trial judge.
Jackson sought to get ahead of potential criticism from Republicans when she stood alongside Biden at her nomination announcement.
“You may have read that I have one uncle who got caught up in the drug trade and received a life sentence,” said Jackson. “That is true, but law enforcement also runs in my family. In addition to my brother, I had two uncles who served decades as police officers, one of whom became the police chief in my hometown of Miami, Florida.”
The IACP is the largest professional association for police leaders and includes 31,000 members in more than 165 countries. Jackson has also been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, dozens of police chiefs and sheriffs, and 83 Republican and Democratic former attorneys general.
The White House is aiming to secure bipartisan support for Jackson, often citing her support from three Republicans when she was confirmed last year to her current role on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. But Sen. Lindsey Graham, who supported her then, is now decrying Jackson as a “radical left” nominee.
Since her nomination, Jackson has met with leading Judiciary Committee senators with the guidance of former Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.). Biden remains in frequent contact with senators to boost his nominee, calling Sen. Susan Collins at least three times since Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement.