Library of Congress Accused of Ignoring Trump's Supreme Court Justices Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson (left) and Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., stand on the Supreme Court portico. (Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images)
By Jay Clemons | Friday, 30 September 2022 04:51 PM EDT
The Library of Congress has been called out publicly for hosting this week's gala event celebrating the addition of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court, but not conducting similar ceremonies for the three justices named during the Trump administration — Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.
Caitlin Sutherland, executive director of Americans for Public Trust, an organization "dedicated to restoring trust in government by holding politicians and political groups accountable for corrupt and unethical behavior," believes the LOC's actions are bad optics for a governmental entity that's supposed to be unbiased and nonpartisan.
The Trump-era omissions are a "disturbing display of partisanship and favoritism by a government agency, when no comparable events were held for the three previous Supreme Court Justices," said Sutherland.
She added, "No gala for Gorsuch, no concert for Kavanaugh, no bash for Barrett. The Library of Congress has some explaining to do."
The Library of Congress, which serves as the research arm of Congress, stands as the nation's oldest federal cultural institution.
It is also the world's largest library, with a reported 532 miles of shelves and 115 million items, with 7,000 added each working day.
The Library of Congress was designed to be a nonpartisan component of the federal government, and a neutral extension of American history.
Bill Ryan, a spokesperson for the Library of Congress, said the controversy might have been overblown.
Ryan told Fox News Digital the Library of Congress has previously had the "pleasure to host a variety of public and private events with the Supreme Court in connection with many different justices over the years," including Justices John G. Roberts, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Gorsuch.
Ryan added: "Just last year, we were delighted to host Justice Gorsuch and his staff for a lengthy private tour of the Library and a display of rare documents curated to reflect the Justice's particular interests. As an organization that works closely with the Supreme Court … we are always eager to maintain a collegial relationship with our institutional neighbors across the street."
"With respect to this particular event, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson asked through the offices of the Supreme Court if her post-investiture celebration could be held at the Library," Ryan continued. "Given our close working relationship with the Supreme Court, we are happy to accommodate the request. It is a private event and is privately funded."
The event honoring Justice Jackson will be held Friday, with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris slated to attend.
The scheduled performers include several musicians and groups, including the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Quartet and civil rights movement Freedom Singer Rutha Mae Harris.