By all evidence, Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court will be a shoo-in. Not because she’s supremely qualified, but because her nomination — as the press reminds us in every headline — is “historic.” Yes, there are and have been black justices and women justices, but never, ever a black woman justice! Who would dare stand in the way of history?
President Joe Biden assumed that by checking all the correct woke boxes his candidate could escape the sort of vicious scrutiny, rumormongering, character-destroying attacks visited upon Republican nominees – apparently forgetting that Democratic nominees always get a free pass from the media, and from genteel Republicans.
Nevertheless, if Democrats want to at least give the appearance of fairness, they should ask Jackson the same questions they asked the last two Republican nominees to the court.
We’re not talking about those silly questions that might reveal her judicial philosophy. Although there is plenty there worthy of careful scrutiny. Joel Pollak over at Breitbart News put together a handy list of such questions, ranging from: Do you believe current penalties for sex offenders are too harsh? What do you think of Biden’s decision only to select a black woman as a nominee? Do you support critical race theory? Do you agree with the “1619 Project” that America was founded on slavery? Do you support court-packing? Can we have rule of law with an open border?
Democrats have already labeled such questions as racist. They also, no doubt, have jettisoned previous standards for Supreme Court nominees, including the ones put forth by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, such as that a nominee who can’t get 60 votes in the Senate shouldn’t be approved, nor can anyone “with a deep-seated ideology” because they wouldn’t have “a neutral legal mind.”
Forget about all that. We’re talking about the truly substantive questions Democrats pressed Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett with for answers. Questions that get to the heart of what it means to be a Supreme Court justice. Questions such as these (which are taken directly from previous Supreme Court nomination hearing transcripts):
- Who or what is Lowenbrau? A classmate? A secret party place? Is it related to the ‘Devil’s Triangle,’ or a type of ‘boofing’?
- I don’t know if it’s “boufed” or “boofed” — how do you pronounce that?
- Since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors, or committed any physical or verbal harassment or assault of a sexual nature?
- Have you ever passed out from drinking?
- What do you consider to be too many beers?
- Was there ever a time when you drank so much that you couldn’t remember what happened, or part of what happened the night before?
- Do you believe Anita Hill?
- Do you agree that it is possible for men to both be friends with some women, and treat other women badly?
- Do you believe that climate change is happening and is threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink?”
Then there’s the one question that Democrats didn’t ask, but wanted to:
“I would be afraid to ask her about the presence of gravity on Earth. She may decline to answer because it might come up in a case, you know, it could come before a court someday,” Sen. Dick Durban said during Barrett’s confirmation.
Until Democrats on the Judiciary Committee ask all these questions of the current nominee, including her view on the presence of gravity on Earth, how could they possibly countenance confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court?
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board