December 9, 2023

“You can’t always be the smartest person in the room, but you can promise to be the hardest working.”

– Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

The United States Senate is poised to vote later this week to determine whether or not Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson will be confirmed. On Monday night, April 4th, the Senate Judiciary Committee in a deadlock procedural voted to move Judge Jackson’s nomination to a Full Chamber vote. U.S. Senator Schumer [D-NY] will likely schedule the vote to wrap up this confirmation before Congress leaves for Easter recess.

With the nomination of Jackson to succeed Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court, Chuck Schumer is getting the unity opportunity he needs to jump-start Democrats’ agenda. Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

With the procedural background out of the way, let’s dive into the latest with the Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation and why Republicans can’t get out the way of history. As many have done before and will do so after me, I would like to take this moment to recognize the sheer brilliance, merit and grace of Ketanji Jackson Brown. Unquestionably, her record and resume speak for themselves as being, if confirmed, the most qualified jurist to sit the bench. Still, she has been met with unscrupulous and unwarranted attacks from Republican (GOP) members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Through the three day attacks, Judge Jackson held her head high knowing that not only was she fighting to protect her record but also fighting for everything she believed in. Since her moral and intellectual a**-kicking of Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, other GOP senators could not wait to let the world know that the party of Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes, especially on the basis of merit, would not vote for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to sit on the Supreme Court, although she can’t be touched on the merits.

Leila Jackson, right, on the first day of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for her mother, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, center. Credit: Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times

But this time, as racism covered in “ideology” would have it, the goal post has been moved once again. Because that is what happens to Black people, especially over-qualified, qualified and hell, Black women in general, who have the audacity to be all that they can be while staring racism in the face, literally. One Republican, in particular, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina made note that had the GOP controlled the Senate Judge Jackson would not have received a confirmation hearing. Surely, this declaration was not said in the spirit of Graham’s latest MLK recognition when he put out a public statement on Twitter. Hypocrisy is one hell of a drug. Even more addictive, however, is knowing you can live without a moral compass and remain in power as a mediocre, white man.

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 27: U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, on Capitol Hill September 27, 2018 in Washington, DC. A professor at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Ford has accused Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her during a party in 1982 when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. Credit: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

Graham’s “who really cares because you’re not in power but if you had the power statement” is the quintessential definition of hypocrisy. After the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia in February of 2016, which was Obama’s “lame duck year,” Graham, along with his other Republican colleagues, refused to convene a hearing for Merrick Garland. His reasoning was because the people should decide on the next Supreme Court justice and it was just too close to the 2016 Election Day. (Kind of like how “the people” decide on their legislators after congressional districts are gerrymandered so that public officials pick their voters and not the other way around). Not even five years later during Trump’s lame duck year and less than a month before 2020 Election Day – unlike Obama’s nomination of Garland which was just shy of nine months – GOP Senators rammed Judge Barrett’s confirmation down the America people’s throats. The move illustrated, flat out, that the only “precedence” that matters is power. That power, as Isabel Wilkerson discusses in her New York Times Bestseller Caste, “The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power – which groups have it and which do not.” This serves as a vivid reminder that power does not concede without demand, and we demand this Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed.

Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland, right, stands with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as he is introduced as Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court during an announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

What’s worse, in this case, is the shucking and jiving Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina as an outspoken Black man against a Black woman for “ideology” reasons – not her merit or identity. To state it plainly, sis cannot be touched on the merits. So He said in a statement released on Monday, “The historic nature of Judge Jackson’s nomination reinforces the progress our country has made. However, ideology must be the determining factor—not identity—when considering such an important lifetime appointment,” said Senator Tim Scott. To note, Scott is the same cat who also went on record during CBS’ Face The Nation. His comment of “America is not a racist country” was his way of saying “I hope to God one day I wake up a white man,” because those of us who are relatively conscious are in a constant state of rage. The only rage he feels is looking in a mirror to realize “you still a n**** in a [suit].”

Republican Senator for South Carolina Tim Scott speaks during the first day of the Republican convention at the Mellon auditorium in Washington on Aug. 24, 2020. Credit: Olivier Douliery / AFP – Getty Images

There were three Republicans who have broken rank and took the high road. The first was Senator Susan Collins of Maine followed by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and finally Mitt Romney of Utah. “My support rests on Judge Jackson’s qualifications, which no one questions; her demonstrated judicial independence; her demeanor and temperament; and the important perspective she would bring to the court as a replacement for Justice [Stephen] Breyer,” Murkowski said. “She will bring to the Supreme Court a range of experience from the courtroom that few can match given her background in litigation.”

Mitt Romney expressed his support for Judge Jackson on Twitter. He said Judge Jackson is a “well-qualified jurist and a person of honor” who “more than meets the standard of excellence and integrity.”

One thing that is certain, or as certain as on can be, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court destiny will not be blocked the racist ideology, capitalistic ideology, greed, misogynistic ideology, or any other ideology for that matter which attempts to deny this sister’s confirmation.

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