"No One's Stealing My Joy!"
Those were the words of New Jersey, Senator Cory Booker, during the confirmation hearings on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. For better or worse, this is regular viewing for me. I first watched the confirmation of Judge Clarence Thomas in 1991 and based on what I witnessed from the questions and answers was concerned to have him appointed to the Supreme Court. This was before the country heard the name Anita Hill which came from a leaked FBI report and caused the hearings to be re-opened. I watched these hearings religiously. My father, a conservative from Missouri, was visiting at the time and he watched with me. He asked if I believed Ms. Hill. I did. Just as when Christine Blasey Ford testified regarding her sexual assault by now-Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh which affected me to my soul. Any victim of sexual assault understands the words and actions of a predator. We relive those assaults in our nightmares.
Now we get to the hearings of Judge Jackson. Her credentials are as good, if not better, than Kavanaugh or Thomas. It would be refreshing to watch a hearing designed to understand how Jackson analyzes a case and determines judgments. Instead, politics enter. I watched Ted Cruz who went to law school with Judge Jackson, attack her rulings on child pornography. Unless you watch these proceedings on video you cannot see how meanly Cruz spoke to Jackson and her facial expressions as he tried to demonstrate that Jackson ruled to the detriment of abused children. I won’t go into Senator Hawley who embarrassed himself and the state of Missouri as usual. It’s Lindsay Graham who disgusted me the most. He could not formulate a question as he ranted and then walked out.
The contrast between the Kavanaugh and Jackson hearings is indescribable. Kavanaugh frothed at the Senate Judiciary Committee for questioning his high school behavior and the drunken acts that led to the attack on Blasey Ford. Jackson has led an exemplary life that gave the Republicans nothing to directly attack her on. As Connecticut Senator Coons pointed out the Republican Party is trying to position Judge Jackson as soft on crime, an advocate of the 1619 Project and critical race theory, Trumpian dog whistles designed to propel right-wingers to social media attacks on Jackson. Judge Jackson made it clear that she follows the law, not a partisan agenda.
Based on Jackson’s responses and the record presented she is qualified to serve as a Supreme Court judge and should be approved. The show put on by the Republicans is a preview of what we should expect as we get closer to the fall election.