“I’ll tell them to be patient”

Senator Ted Cruz questions Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, about a key racial theory during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation in Washington, DC, on May 22. Three.
Senator Ted Cruz questions Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, about a key racial theory during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation in Washington, DC, on May 22. 3. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)

Many Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee wasted no time accepting the category faithless scrutiny often reserved for women and black nominees – affirmative action beneficiaries, in a GOP Senator Sayings.

Some Republicans, lacking a coherent strategy, are pressing judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for her views on Project 1619 and the children’s book “Antiracist Baby” (for “critical racial theory”). “), despite having nothing to do with the job she is being considered for. because the.

Others are doing their best to disqualify the nominee as weak on crime by misrepresenting her past work defending Guantanamo Bay detainees and her sentence in the courts. child pornography case.

This thin contrast is unfolding.

To use observations from Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, Tuesday’s attacks were nothing more than “disgruntled, clothed and imaginary men”. American Bar Association rated “qualified” to appear in court. All the GOP senators have ever complained of fatigue designed to enliven their base.

Project 1619 and important racial theory

Some Republicans on Tuesday seemed determined to deviate from Jackson’s record.

Take, for example, Texas Senator Ted Cruz. He spent several minutes of his interrogation time not talking about Jackson but instead alluding to Nikole Hannah-Jones, a New York Times Magazine writer and creator of Project 1619, the project has become a lightning rod for right-wing fury. Then he jumped to CRT and flipped through children’s books that he said espoused the law school framework.

“Do you agree with this book (“Antiracist Baby”) that teaches children that babies are racist? Cruz asked, without any detectable irony.

Continuing after a sigh and pause, Jackson refused to talk about racist children and insisted on discussing legal issues.

“Senator, I haven’t reviewed any of those books, any of those ideas,” she said. “They do not appear in my work as a judge, which I respectfully mention here.”

Later, Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn reconsidered the CRT, saying that Jackson should give parents the power to ban the concept from being taught in public school classrooms.

“It’s important to them to have a Supreme Court that will uphold the right of parents to teach these children as parents see fit to raise their children,” Blackburn said.

In important ways, avoiding conversations about anything Jackson-related appeared to be a matter of concern on Tuesday.

Instead of attaching importance to Jackson’s record, opponents have chosen to deviate,” Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick recently wrote. They don’t like the expanse of the court. They don’t like the Sentencing Commission. They don’t like the defense attorneys for the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. But these aren’t really complaints about Jackson or her qualifications. They are the aggregate complaints of all Democrats. “

For weeks, Republicans didn’t seem interested in getting Jackson’s attention. Presumably, it was because they knew that their attacks were worth nothing and there was little they could do to prevent her from being confirmed. So they’re using the hearings to prepare for something much less stable: the midterm election cycle.

“Be gentle with criminals”

When they don’t mind the Democrats’ treatment of Brett Kavanaugh – who four years ago was charged with sexual assault before he was confirmed to a lifetime appointment in the country’s supreme court – Republicans on Tuesday and Wednesday were obsessed with trying to portray Jackson as “soft on crime.”

For example, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and Texas Senator John Cornyn expressed concern about the candidate campaigning for detainees at Guantanamo Bay while she was a federal public defender and worked at a private law firm. Graham went as far as to state that Jackson’s advocacy jeopardized national security.

“I think the system has failed miserably and that system change advocates like her are campaigning will destroy our ability to protect our country,” Graham said, before leaving the room. mat.

What those criticisms downplay, however, is the fact that Jackson is merely following the Constitution that Republicans love to shower with pious praise.

Melissa Murray, a professor at New York University School of Law, told CNN: “She fulfills a minimum constitutional requirement: to provide the right to advocate for those in the criminal justice system and those who cannot afford it. defense ability. “For me, that shows loyalty to the rule of law, not necessarily being soft on criminals.”

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