New Jersey Senator Cory Booker moves Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to tears during the Supreme Court hearing

WASHINGTON – Sen. Cory Booker on Wednesday ended a tense third day of Supreme Court nomination hearings from Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson with a speech on racial progress that drew tears from the nominee and drew the tense attention of peers.

Booker, a black Democrat from New Jersey, said he could no longer contain his emotions at Jackson’s conduct in the face of combative questioning about her handling of child pornography cases, her representation of accused terrorists and her views on anti-racism teaching in schools.

“They were subjected to insults here that shocked me,” Booker said, speaking directly to Jackson, who is the first black woman nominee to the High Court.

“Nobody’s taking that away from me,” Booker continued, choking as he spoke. Republicans will blame you for this and that. But don’t worry, my sister. Do not worry. god has you And how do I know? Because you’re here and I know what it’s taken for you to be sitting in this seat.”

Jackson, sitting silently with her hands clasped, released her fingers to grab a handkerchief and wiped away tears that were running down her cheeks. It was the first time in almost two dozen hours of questioning by senators that she had shown so much emotion.

Since Jackson’s hearings began Monday, Democratic and Republican senators have hailed the nominee’s historic nomination, praising her pedigree and noting her pleasant temper and empathetic approach to the law.

But Booker used his remarks to base Jackson’s Supreme Court appeal on meaning beyond simple diversity. In order for Jackson to sit in front of the panel, she had to overcome systemic barriers and do too much at all levels. Only then would she have a chance to break one of the last remaining racial limits in American democracy.

“I want to tell you, that’s why I get emotional when I look at you,” Booker said. “I’m sorry, you are a person who is so much more than your race and gender. you are christian you are a mother I have a hard time not looking at you and not seeing my mother see my ancestors and yours.”

He added: “You deserve this place. You’re worth it. You are a great American.”

After a day of charged partisanship, every Republican in the room gave Booker their full attention. Except for a few sniffles, the room was completely silent for the duration of his remarks.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., retired for a brief pause immediately after Booker’s remarks. Jackson quickly left the room, accompanied by her husband.

During the intermission, a number of people, including Jackson’s father, approached Booker and hugged him, some wiping away tears.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, DR.I., who is white, later called Booker’s speech an “epic Senate moment and also a moral reboot after a truly toxic, cynical behavior that pierced the absolute rock bottom of what the Senate has been in in dark times.” has done past.”

As the hearing resumed, a question from Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., about her being an inspiration to young Americans, sparked more emotion from Jackson. She said his comments and questions were “very moving”.

Jackson choked as she shared the story of walking around Harvard University feeling like she didn’t belong when another black woman she didn’t know walked by and seemed to understand how she was feeling. “Hold on,” she said, the woman said to her.

“I hope to inspire people to walk this path because I love this country, because I love the law, because I think it’s important that we all invest in our future,” Jackson said. “And the young people are the future.”


Morrison reported from New York. Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick and Kevin Freking in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker moves Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to tears during the Supreme Court hearing

Dais Johnston

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