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Jackson judged for her success

TUES. | 04-28-22 | OPINION

     The first hearing of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmations was a rude awakening to some of our political leaders' thoughts and ignorance, but the end result has proven that things can turn around as her acceptance was announced live. 

     Not only were some of the Senate’s questions extremely out of place, but the constant interrupting of Jackson created a huge annoyance for me personally. In fact, the same types of clearly partisan questions, such as her views on abortion and overall human rights, continued for the next few hearings. 

     The only aspect that made me continue to watch was how confidently she was able to shut down most of these questions with


Graphic by Liv Carpenter

sheer intelligence and overall common sense, and by that, I mean that she had to explain how her job as a judge worked to a room full of senators who were trying to decide if she was fit for the Supreme Court. 

     Seeing her professionalism was admirable, and she is someone who deserves to have a seat in the highest governmental court. It seems that she also has an incredible résumé as a graduate of Harvard University and their law school. According to American Progress writers Stephanie Wylie and Genna Cifelli, Jackson has been awarded numerous times throughout her career, including the Constance Baker Motley Award from Columbia University’s Law School for “empowering women of color”. Jackson has also been confirmed by the Senate three times: in 2009, 2013 and 2021. Her most recent accomplishment being this acceptance. 

     With all of this, I just cannot fathom how someone could have a problem with this judge. She has proven to be exceptional at her work and with her responses at the confirmation hearings. 

     After being nominated by the President, the Senate Judiciary Committee votes on the nomination. For Jackson, she was confirmed with a 53-44 vote. The Supreme Court confirmation hearings allow the entire Senate to debate on if the nominee should have a seat in the court, as stated by Article II section two of the Constitution

     While at this stage, I feel the wrong questions were being asked. The first tidbit I heard was Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz asking if babies were racist in reference to a children’s book being taught at her daughter’s school. This really has nothing to do with the work she does as a judge. I feel like Cruz was trying to villainize her by saying that she supports babies being monsters. 

     This question kept me interested, so I watched a few videos from day one of the hearings and was able to find the full four-hour meeting on YouTube. 

     It seems to me that when it comes to a woman who is not only intelligent but also has no real bashings on her name, it is hard to make her look bad to the Republican party. It got to a point where they had to dig 20 years in the past just find a time where Jackson said she didn’t like pro-life protestors who restricted the right to get into Planned Parenthood, but they had to make it seem like she bashing people simply for having  different opinions from her. 

     At one point when it came to one of Cruz’s usual rants, which lasted a minute longer than allowed, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin had to tell Cruz to not continually interrupt Jackson and that his time to speak was up. I had a good laugh when Durbin had to tell Jackson to not even respond because she would just keep getting interrupted. 

      Now, Cruz is just one out of many senators who chose to verbally attack Jackson; it’s just that his attacks were the most exaggerated. Many of these attacks were focused more on her personal beliefs and few had anything to do with being a judge. 

      Based on how well Jackson did from just her responses alone, I am happy to hear that she gets a seat on the Supreme Court. She has demonstrated courage when facing these senators and has proven that cases can be looked into with logical reasoning and not political beliefs. 

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