Mar 27, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Booker: Jackson confirmation hearing "outrageous and beyond the pale"

Sen. Cory Booker

Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) denounced the lines of GOP questioning during Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court confirmation hearings as "outrageous and beyond the pale" during an appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The big picture: Despite being all but assured confirmation to the Supreme Court, Jackson's three days before the Senate Judiciary Committee were filled with political jockeying and message-testing by Republicans.

  • Multiple Republican senators asked Jackson about her sentencing record on child pornography in an effort to cast her as sympathetic to sex offenders. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) held up the book, "Antiracist Baby," and asked Jackson, “Do you agree … that babies are racist?” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) asked Jackson to define the word "woman."

Driving the news: Booker noted that Jackson had already been appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, meaning that she appeared before this same committee last year for another confirmation hearing.

  • "It's just outrageous that they didn't bring this up less than a year ago, when she was going through a confirmation hearing," he said.
  • Booker added: "I think that what some of my colleagues did was just sad, frankly. But again ... you had a judge there that dealt with it in an extraordinary way and showed America who she is, despite the outrageousness of the questioning."

Between the lines: Booker, who is the only Black senator on the Judiciary committee, spoke about the historic nature of Jackson's nomination during Wednesday's hearing. If approved, Jackson would be the first Black woman to serve on the highest court.

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