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Jesse Jackson: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and Ginni Thomas

Bill Press, Tribune Content Agency on

Last week, two events involving the U.S. Supreme Court occurred.

First, four days of hearings surrounding the nomination and possible elevation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the nation’s highest court.

Second, 29 dangerous and wacky emails sent from conservative activist Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urging him to take illegal and unconstitutional actions to preserve Donald Trump’s presidency.

Both involve politics and will impact the integrity of the Court.

President Joe Biden nominated Judge Jackson to be the first African American woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. She appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee allegedly to answer questions about her views and qualifications to be confirmed.

Judge Jackson’s qualifications appear impeccable: clerking for judges on all three federal levels of our courts, District, Appellate and Supreme Court; work as a federal public defender; confirmed three times by the U.S. Senate for service on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a DC district judgeship, and as a DC appellate judge; highly intelligent; educational achievements that anyone would be proud of; and a deeply religious woman who has never been tainted by scandal or corruption of any kind.

 

One would expect legitimate and tough questions, and cogent and thoughtful answers, in order for senators and the American people to make a judgment about her appointment.

Not so for this partisan and equally divided committee of 22 Democrats and Republicans. Of the 11 Republicans, seven are from former slave states: Lindsey Graham, South Carolina; Tom Cotton, Arkansas; Ted Cruz, Texas; John Kennedy, Louisiana; Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee; Tom Tillis, North Carolina, the former state senator wrote the voting rights legislation that an Appellate Court found targeted Black voters “with almost surgical precision”; and Josh Hawley of Missouri, a former slave state that did not join the Confederacy.

Those seven were the worst questioners and could not stop themselves from reflecting racism, sexism, past grievances, and bad manners.

Sen. Graham complained that his choice from South Carolina was not selected, constantly interrupted Judge Jackson, reminded Democrats of his grievance about how Democrats treated Judge Kavanaugh – without mentioning the accusation of a credible female witness accusing Kavanaugh of rape at a drunken party they attended in high school – inappropriately asked Judge Jackson about her religion, accused her of being an activist, attributed her nomination to being bankrolled by dark money from the radical left, used foul language, went way over his allotted time for questioning, had to be shut down by Chairman Durbin, and ended up storming out of the hearing.

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