The moments of aggression among certain Senators on the Judiciary Committee gained viral status rapidly, and as we now know, viruses that are allowed to flourish soon contaminate everything. That’s what the hearings on the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson sounded like to me: sick and sickening, nasty, personal attacks on someone who, in her entire career, has demonstrated a quiet, calm, and, well, judicious approach to the law.
Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, put it well, commenting on the “jackassery we see around here” of “people mugging” for the cameras. Judge Jackson has done nothing to warrant the treatment she is getting from the likes of Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
And when, in the history of these hearings, has a Supreme Court nominee been grilled on what her kindergartener is thinking? When have Senators ever pushed into the lives of a nominee’s children?
We know what this is about. And it is shameful.
Judge Jackson deserves to be voted onto the Supreme Court bench. Not because she is a woman. Not because she is Black. But because she is extremely qualified, thoughtful, and level-headed.
Does the fact that hers is a historic nomination matter? Indeed it does, hugely; it matters to all of us who care about the balance of the court and the fairness of our country. And with important clean air and climate issues coming before the Supreme Court, it matters to all of us who care about our children’s health and future.
I hope that the common sense and fair-mindedness of Republican Senators Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, among others, as well as Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, are not derailed by the political degradation and nastiness of these hearings.
Please tell your Senators much of what is going on in this hearing is unbalanced, injudicious, and unhinged. Don’t let it contaminate the voting. This hugely capable nominee should be confirmed.