It seems that in today’s political climate the price of serving on the Supreme Court of the United States is to allow yourself to be brutalized by senators seeking to garner sound bites and video clips for future campaign videos while simultaneously posturing for their Twitter followers.
I’m fully aware that this conduct is not limited to a single political party and that both Democrats and Republicans take turns doing the brutalizing, depending on the nominee’s perceived political leanings.
But in the midst of the political theater someone’s words occasionally cross the line into greatness.
Yesterday those words came from Senator Cory Booker as he used his question time to encourage Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. The evening news showed a few sentences of Senator Booker’s speech last night and emphasized how they brought Judge Jackson to tears.
Today, I watched his entire speech on YouTube.
I can understand why Judge Jackson was dabbing away tears while Senator Booker spoke. It wasn’t merely a response to uplifting and kind words from a friend in the midst of a stormy atmosphere. It was much more than that.
Senator Booker’s words revealed how far we have come as a nation—and how far we still have to go. They were inspiring words of joy at the nomination of the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
But the senator’s words were that much more inspiring given that they were delivered against the backdrop of certain questioners’ politically motivated vitriol masquerading beneath a thin veil of integrity.
Bravo, Senator Booker.
And Godspeed, soon-to-be Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
(I have posted the full speech below. It’s worth 20 minutes of your time, no matter what political perspective you come from.)
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