HomeWhistleblower Advocates Commend Senator Grassley’s Whistleblower Questions at Judge Jackson Confirmation Hearing

Whistleblower Advocates Commend Senator Grassley’s Whistleblower Questions at Judge Jackson Confirmation Hearing

Geoff Schweller
Published On: March 22nd, 2022Categories: Whistleblower News and Qui Tam Blog

On March 22, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its second day of hearings on the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the U.S. Supreme Court. At the outset of the hearings, the whistleblower attorneys of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto (KKC) demanded that Judge Jackson be questioned on her stance on whistleblower issues. On Tuesday, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) posed questions to Judge Jackson concerning qui tam whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act.

“Senator Grassley’s questioning of Judge Jackson concerning whistleblowing is a great public service,” said KKC founding partner Stephen M. Kohn. “Judges often are hostile to whistleblowers, and many do not appreciate their contributions or the hardships they face. Putting whistleblower rights front and center in questioning nominees is a step forward ensuring that judges are not hostile to whistleblowers.”

During his time to question Judge Jackson, Senator Grassley brought up the False Claims Act, which he described as “one of the best tools we have to fight against government fraud and recover taxpayer money.” He further noted that he has “worked for decades to protect whistleblowers who shine a light on fraud, waste and abuse in the government.” 

Grassley then raised specific questions about legal issues surrounding the False Claims Act. He asked Judge Jackson whether she believes that qui tam lawsuits under the False Claims Act violate the Appointments Clause. He also asked whether she believes qui tam suits violate the President’s Constitutional powers.

Judge Jackson noted she could not comment on the specifics of the matters because they may be issues that are being litigated. She did note, however, that should cases on the matter arise before her, she would “look, consistent with [her] methodology, at any arguments that are raised about the Constitutionality of lawfulness of those actions.”

Senator Grassley concluded his questions on the matter by highlighting the importance of whistleblowers in enforcing the False Claims Act. “Remember that in about all of these suits that involve the courts and making interpretations of the False Claims Act, most of them are brought by whistleblowers,” Grassley stated. “Remember, the government would not even know about these fraudulent use of taxpayers without whistleblowers coming forth. And they ought to be given some credit for wanting the government to do what the laws say it ought to do and spend the money the way Congress implies the money be spent.”

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