We are watching racism play out in front of our very eyes. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is a perfectly qualified and highly regarded jurist on the brink of making history as the first Black woman on the Supreme Court. But as Judge Brown Jackson sits through a second day of Senate questioning, Senate Republicans have turned her confirmation hearings into political theater with racist, baseless attacks. There were even occasions where Senate Republicans were repeatedly interrupting and raising their voice at her.
There is simply no precedent. Senators John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Josh Hawley, and other Senate Republicans have doubled down on an agenda to weaponize race by inserting irrelevant questions regarding critical race theory, mischaracterizing Judge Brown Jackson’s sentencing record, and grandstanding throughout the hearing on completely irrelevant topics. Judge Brown Jackson’s whereabouts on the night of Clarence Thomas’ confirmation and her taste in literature have absolutely nothing to do with her fitness for the bench. But in the absence of real arguments, these Senators are bringing in ancillary issues and manufacturing controversy to discredit her in this moment.
What we’re witnessing is the hijacking of Judge Jackson’s confirmation in real-time. These racist lines of questioning, which come straight from the toxic aspirations of an imploded political party, demonstrate a complete lack of integrity, total disregard for Senate precedent, and a failed commitment to the democratic process. Time and time again, the Republican Party has shown its willingness to usurp a democratic process to forward its agenda. We had hoped that Judge Brown Jackson would receive a fair hearing, but with Republicans questioning her about absurd topics like ‘racist babies,’ that ship has now sailed.
The right wing constantly seeks to undermine our brilliance, deny our humanity, attack our character and weaponize our identity in order to assert and imply that we are less than. But in spite of racism, we rise. We are throwing our full support behind Judge Brown Jackson, and President Biden and the Senate Democrats must continue to do the same. We are at the precipice of a historic milestone, and as we enter into a fourth day of hearings, they must do everything in their power to ensure that Judge Jackson is fully and swiftly confirmed.