Mar 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Booker to Ketanji Brown Jackson: "You are worthy"

The historical significance of Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court was on full display on Wednesday as Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) spoke of its ripple effect on the third day of confirmation hearings.

Why it matters: Booker, the only Black senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee, made clear both the personal and national implications of her nomination between Republican attempts to paint her as soft on child pornography. If confirmed, Jackson would be the first Black woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice.

What he's saying: "I'm jogging this morning and ... this woman comes up to me and tackles me, an African American woman," he told Jackson. "The look in her eyes, she just wanted to touch me, I think because I'm sitting so close to you, and tell me what it meant to her to watch you sitting where you are sitting."

  • "You did not get there because of some left-wing agenda," he said as Jackson wiped away tears. "You didn't get here because of some dark money groups. You got here how every Black woman in America who's gotten anywhere has done, by being like Ginger Rogers said, 'I did everything Fred Astaire did but backwards in heels.'"
  • "You are a person that is so much more than your race and gender," he added. "But for me, it's hard for me to look at you and not see my mom, not to see my cousins, one of whom had to come here and sit behind you. She had to have your back."
  • "I see my ancestors and yours. Nobody is going to steal the joy of that woman in the street, or the calls I'm getting, or the texts. Nobody is going to steal that joy. You have earned this spot. You are worthy. You are a great American."

The big picture: Jackson, who has said she recognizes the historic nature of her nomination, told the committee Wednesday that a diverse American judicial branch is necessary in order to "bolster public confidence in our system."

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