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CNN10 2022-03-22

CNN 10

Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson Gives Her Opening Statement; Wildfires Scorch Thousands Of Acres In Texas; Global Aid Pours Into Ukraine. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired March 22, 2022 - 04:00:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN 10. I've got a little more of my voice back today and I'm happy to use it to bring you objective news. I'm Carl Azuz.

Another step is being taken in the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process. Late last month, President Joe Biden nominated Federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to fill an upcoming vacancy on the high court. Associate Justice Stephen Breyer plans to retire in the months ahead.

What's taking place this week is Judge Jackson's hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is a panel of 22 senators, 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans, who will have the chance to question the nominee this week and try to figure out how she'd rule on some of the most controversial issues in America.

The committee will then hold a vote to decide whether the Senate should confirm or reject the president's nominee. It can also decide to issue no recommendation at all. After that, it's up to a simple majority of 51 out of 100 senators to determine whether the nominee gets a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

Democrats currently control the U.S. Senate. They and the two independents who vote with them hold 50 seats. Republicans also hold seats but if there's a tie with the 50 Republicans voting one way, and the 50 Democrats voting the other, the vice president who's a Democrat casts the tie-breaking vote. That's why even though the seats are split 50-50, Democrats are said to be in control of the Senate.

U.S. Supreme Court appointments are extremely important to America's two main political parties. Democrats generally want to appoint liberal justices, people likely to share their views on controversial issues. Republicans generally want to appoint conservative justices people likely to share their views on controversial issues. Judge Jackson has previously worked as a public defender something that none of the current Supreme Court justices has done.

And while supporters have said that gives her empathy as a judge, critics have suggested Jackson may be soft on crime at a time when many parts of America are dealing with higher crime rates. So Judge Jackson will likely be questioned along those lines this week, Democrats hope to hold a vote on her nomination before April 11, when Congress goes on recess over Easter and Passover.


KARIN CAIFA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is no stranger to the Senate Judiciary Committee. She's gone through the Senate confirmation process three times for previous roles on her resume.

But this time will be different. The Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment and today's opening statements will likely give an indication of where senators plan to go with their questioning of her.

When President Biden nominated the first black woman to the Supreme Court last month, Ketanji Brown Jackson gave a nod to another trailblazer.

KETANJI BROWN JACKSON, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: Today, I proudly stand on Judge Motley's shoulders, sharing not only her birthday but also her steadfast and courageous commitment to equal justice.

CAIFA: Jackson referenced Constance Baker Motley, the first black woman to serve as a federal judge. Now, Jackson is poised to inspire another generation of black women in law and shape the nation's highest court.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For too long, our government, our courts haven't looked like America. But some areas of her legal career could draw scrutiny. It will be a respectful, deep dive into her record, which I think is entirely appropriate for a lifetime appointment.

As Jackson has made the rounds on Capitol Hill, GOP senators have indicated her time as a public defender will be one of those areas, including work representing detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay and her views on the role of race in the U.S. criminal justice system.

Democrats will emphasize Jackson's credentials and character at a groundbreaking moment.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: This is her fourth time before the Senate Judiciary Committee and three previous times she came through with flying colors.


AZUZ: If you can envision the amount of land covered by 70,000 football fields, you can get a sense of how much ground in Texas has been burned by wildfires over the past week. In all, there have been 175 of these blazes, though only a handful of them have caused most of the damage. A complex of seven fires for instance had burned over 54,000 acres by Monday. That's according to NBC News.

And it was reportedly 30 percent contained, which means roughly a third of it had been blocked off and kept from spreading further.

Firefighters are making progress though. They say the big L fire, which was less than miles southwest of Dallas-Fort Worth, that was under control yesterday morning and people in the nearby city of Lipan were allowed to return to their homes at least two deaths one of them in neighboring Oklahoma have been blamed on the fires.

Rain is in the forecast for some of the affected areas in Texas, which can help firefighters put out the blazes but so are high winds which can cause the fires to spread.

Supplies are pouring into the European nation of Ukraine. We're talking about everything from drugs and healthcare aid to guns and military equipment. On Monday, the European Union reached an agreement to send an additional $551 million worth to the war-torn country. That's only a fraction of the billions the United States is sending to help supply the Ukrainian military and give relief to Ukrainian civilians.

The nation's president is urging his people to continue their fight against the Russian military which invaded the country almost four weeks ago. And even as Ukrainian cities increasingly show the scars of war, their people are getting support from distant parts of the planet.


REPORTER: From all over the world, boxes of donations, food medicine and clothing, now piled high and being sorted by volunteers in a disused warehouse at the Polish town of Przemysl (ph) not far from the border of Ukraine.

KATARYNA GORZALA, VOLUNTEER MANAGING AID WAREHOUSE: At the beginning, I was really surprised that so many people want to help. But now, I think I am used to it, you know, how wonderful people are.

REPORTER: Donations that Ukraine desperately needs, loaded into vans to be taken to the border and then into the war-torn country.

The land routes from Europe are now Ukraine's lifeline. The main roads humanitarian organizations use to bring in their much-needed supplies.

And they are far from safe one. Ukrainian driver who didn't want to be identified sharing some of his drive and telling us of several close shells (ph).

PRANAV SHERRY, PROJECT HOPE: I think we've kind of seen that civilian targets are not off limits in this crisis. And so, that's a constant issue in the back of -- in most humanitarians' minds is how do -- how do we deal with the potential risk of directed attack, how do we ensure that our aid is seen as separate from as we know all of the military aid that's going into Ukraine.

REPORTER: Last week, Russia delivered a chilling warning.

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER; Well, we clearly said that any, any cargo moving into Ukrainian territory which we would believe is carrying weapons would be a fair game.

REPORTER: On Thursday, the United Nations got its first convoy of aid into the heavily damaged town of Sumy, calling it a breakthrough for cities facing, quote, fatal shortages of food, water and medicine.

And as the violence worsens, the need for medical supplies to help the wounded continues to grow, as does the West's determination to help.

President Joe Biden signing $13.6 billion worth of aid only last week.

ROBERT MARDINI, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS: The bottleneck is not funds because there has been a great deal of solidarity and generosity. So, we now really need to step up the operational response inside the country.

REPORTER: In the knowledge that the longer the conflict lasts and the more the aid is needed, the more dangerous it will become to deliver.



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

A bird of bad moral character was how Ben Franklin described what animal?

Bald eagle, carrier pigeon, vulture, or turkey?

In a letter to his daughter, the Founding Father criticized the eagle as being too lazy to fish for itself.



AZUZ: Of course, the eagle still became America's national symbol and now you get to name one -- well, anyone who donates between $10 and $50 can submit a name.

Third graders in California where the eaglet was born will choose the winner from randomly 35 selected names. The chick's parents are called Jackie and Shadow, if that gives you an idea of the kind of name officials might be looking for.

And while I'm not personally going to enter, I might suggest Chick Hicks, Jessica Beagle, Feather Time, Marty McFly, Nestor Holt, the Beaconator (ph), Hawkeye, Jeff Prezos (ph), Cragal (ph) Azuz or anything other than Eagle McEagleface although I could eagerly see that one being a winger.

I'm Carl Azuz. Today's shout-out takes us to Ludlow, Kentucky, where we are happy to see our viewers at Ludlow High School. And thanks to everyone for taking 10 for CNN 10.