As the hearings to confirm federal judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court continued on Wednesday (March 23rd), the tone of the Republican senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee became more accusatory and confrontational towards the nominee. Pointed attacks by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) who claimed that Jackson supported “critical race theory” and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggesting that Jackson’s nomination was the result of “dark money” from far-left groups led the judge to stoically defend herself throughout the Q&A session.
When it was Senator Cory Booker’s turn to ask questions of Jackson, he chose to use his twenty minutes of time to praise the nominee. “I’m not letting anybody in the Senate steal my joy,” he stated emphatically to Jackson. “I just look at you and I start getting full of emotion.” The only Black senator on the 22-member continued by sharing a story of how a Black woman who approached him as he was running earlier in the day shared their appreciation for Jackson being nominated to the highest court in the country.
“You did not get there because of some left-wing agenda. You didn’t get here because of some dark money groups. You got here how every Black woman in America who’s gotten anywhere.”, he said. Addressing the behavior of his GOP colleagues, the New Jersey senator didn’t mince words. “You faced insults here that were shocking to me — well, actually not shocking.” Despite those attempts at slander, he continued to directly address her saying, “You’re here, and I know what it’s taken for you to sit in that seat.”
The senator’s words of continued support brought tears to Jackson’s eyes and evoked applause from the audience in the chambers. Booker closed by saying to Jackson, “When that final vote happens and you are sent onto the highest court in the land, I’m going to rejoice… and the greatest country in the world, the United States of America will be better because of you.” A photo by Alex Brandon of Judge Jackson summed up the emotion of the moment.