I hope my daughter never has to endure the treatment Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been subjected to.
Being a Black woman and the mother of a young Black girl, I felt it was important for her to witness this historical moment. But instead of the positive experience it could have been, the scene that played out was sadly familiar. As we sat together watching the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, my nine-year-old wondered why Texas Sen. Cruz frequently interrupted Jackson.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson wiped away tears as Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., delivered a passionate speech on how she earned her spot to become the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court.
“You are worthy. You are a great American,” he told Jackson. In lieu of asking questions, Booker later told Jackson that “I know what it’s taken for you to sit in that seat.”
As the Senate Judiciary Committee continued its Supreme Court confirmation hearings March 23, Booker also railed against GOP senators pulling out specific cases from Jackson’s past and said it would not steal his joy.
The senator referenced abolitionist Harriet Tubman and Constance Baker Motley, the first Black woman to serve as a federal judge in 1966, as role models in his life and who paved the way for Jackson’s historic path.
“Today, you’re my star. You are my harbinger of hope,” Booker told Jackson.
Wednesday was senators’ final day to question Jackson, who was nominated by President Joe Biden in February to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. If confirmed, she will be the first Black woman on the high court. On the final day of the hearings March 24, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from friends and colleagues of Jackson about her temperament and approach to the law.