In her first full day of sparring with Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson clearly held her own.
Every time we have a hearing on a nomination to the Supreme Court (especially when Mitch McConnell plays hardball, as he did with the Merrick Garland and Amy Coney Barrett nominations, where he changed the rules to serve solely the interests of the GOP), we have talking heads, TV ads, dark money, special interests, always without fail.
This time, thanks to Justice Stephen Breyer’s timely retirement (avoiding the RBG mistake of hanging on too long), President Biden stuck to his campaign promises to nominate a Black woman to the Court (he had numerous well-vetted candidates to pick from, and he made a great choice), the brawl now playing out on CNN all day long showed that, as usual, all criticisms of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson were, as judges say, entirely without merit.
Nearly last up for the Republicans was senator Ted Cruz, who still wants to be president.
Cruz, the most abrasive of all senators, went all out on the made-up wedge issue of Critical Race Theory, an academic theory taught in law schools, and second up was senator Lindsey Graham, a loudmouth if there ever was one, and Graham would agree with Cruz on CRT.
So this is where, as always, whenever we need to report on something that didn’t happen, we bring in our Chief Congressional Correspondent, associate solitary reporer Melissa Smith.
It was Smith who told us about the most interesting part of today’s hearing.
As Graham became increasingly aggressive and obnoxious, Judge Jackson decided she had had enough.
“Senator, please let me remind you that it was your state that started the Civil War. There were slave markets in Charleston where families were separated so plantation owners could have free labor on sweltering plantations where southern belles sipped mint juleps and complained that Lincoln wanted to destroy their way of life. What do you say about that, senator, and what about your friend Strom Thurmond, the Dixiecrat from your state who fought to preserve segregation?
Graham exploded and left the hearing room and was rescued by Fox News.