After three days of political theatre from the GOP opposition, filled with inaccurate accusations of being too soft on sentencing child pornography cases, mischaracterizions of thoughts on pro-life activists, defending terrorists, an abrupt walk out from Senator Graham (R-SC), and a blatant disregard for time and committee rules from Senator Cruz (R-TX), it was evident that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson needed a break. Queue New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.
Senator Booker called out Republicans and their non-bipartisan support, pointing out that Jackson didn’t face this same kind of scrutiny when she was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit just last year.
Booker said to Jackson, “You were put on a court, that I’m told, is considered like the second most powerful court in our land. And you were passed with bipartisan support. Nobody brought it up then. Did they not do their homework?”
The Senator called out GOP Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) specifically for his focus on a handful of child pornography cases Jackson handled.
“For now I want to discuss, discuss the claim by Sen. Josh Hawley that Judge Jackson is appallingly soft on child pornography offenders. This is the kicker here, the ‘allegations appear meritless to the point of demagoguery.’ I got letters from leaders of victims rights groups, survivors of assault. All saying sort of the same thing with the National Review. Feel proud about yourself you brought together right and left in this, in this, in this calling out of people that will sit up here and try to pull out from cases and try to put themselves in a position where they’re the defenders of our children, to a person who has children, to a person whose family goes out in streets and defends children. I mean, this is a new, new low.”
Instead of yielding his time, Booker chose to instead pour love and much-needed emotional support into Jackson.
“It’s not gonna to stop, they’re gonna accuse of this and that … but don’t worry my sister. Don’t worry. God has got you,” Booker said. “And how do I know that? Because you’re here and I know what it has taken for you to sit in that seat.”
As Judge Jackson wiped away tears, he added, “You are a person that is so much more than your race and gender — you are a Christian, you are a mom, you are an intellect, you love books.”
Overcome with emotion, he told Jackson when he looks at her, he sees his mom and cousins. He even noted that his cousin even sat behind Jackson during the historic hearing. “I see my ancestors and yours,” he said. “You have earned this spot. You are worthy. You are a great American.
Booker continued his semi-pep talk, bringing small laughs to the floor, announcing “You’ve got five more folk to go through. You’ve got five more of us.”
Since 2018, Booker as well as then-Senator Kamala Harris, were the second and third Black senators to sit on the 200-year-old Senate Judiciary committee that presides over the Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearing. Now, Booker holds down the honor as the only Black member to sit on the 22-member committee all his own.
The committee took a ten-minute break after Booker concluded his remarks and Judge Jackson’s parents could be seen going up to hug the New Jersey Democrat.