Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was in the ninth hour of a grueling questioning session Wednesday, after defending her record time and again amid aggressive questions and interruptions by Republicans as New Jersey Democrat Senator Cory Booker began speaking.
Mr. Booker didn’t start with a question. Instead, he encouraged Judge Jackson to sit back as he praised her for her ability to withstand a series of “grit and grace” attacks, and chided his Republican colleagues for “trying to figure out the complexity of the criminal justice system.” outside”, while repeatedly attacking her for how she had handled several cases of child sexual abuse.
He then began an emotional appeal to return the focus of the hearing to the historic nature of her appointment, drawing on the nation’s history of civil rights advancements, its string of judicial achievements and his own emotion at the sight of her nomination.
In doing so, Mr. Booker, the only black senator on the 22-member Judiciary Committee, offered Judge Jackson a reprieve from a series of conservative attacks and endorsed her Supreme Court candidacy in enthusiastic and emotional terms.
“You are a person who is so much more than your race and gender – you are a Christian, you are a mother, you are an intellect, you love books,” he said as Judge Jackson wiped his tears.
“I see my ancestors and yours,” he added.
He continued: “You have earned this place. You are worthy. You’re a great American.”
Mr. Booker repeatedly expressed his joy at her appointment, compared her to historical figures such as Harriet Tubman and proclaimed Judge Jackson “my harbinger of hope” that the United States could deliver on its promises of freedom and equality.
“This country is getting better and better and better,” he said. “When that final vote takes place and you ascend to the highest court in the land, I shall rejoice. And I’m going to tell you now that the greatest country in the world, the United States of America, will be better because of you.”
As Mr. Booker concluded, Judge Jackson gave a quiet “Thank you.”