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Booker says Jackson was under ‘the most outrageous of attacks’ during hearings

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) speaks with Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during the third day of her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.
Greg Nash

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on Sunday said Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson was under “the most outrageous of attacks” during her confirmation hearing last week.

“She was bringing me a lot of emotion during the whole hearing. I mean, she, under sort of the most outrageous of attacks, she was showing who she is,” Booker said when asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” about Jackson tearing up in response to the senator’s emotional comments during the hearing.

“She showed up and told America how qualified she is, how special she is, what kind of endurance, grit and grace she showed,” he added.

Jackson’s confirmation hearing made headlines last Wednesday when Jackson teared up as Booker was addressing the historic nature of her nomination to the bench. Jackson, if confirmed, would be the first African American woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

“I want to tell you when I look at you this is why I get emotional,” Booker said to Jackson during the hearing, his voice quavering with emotion. “You’re so much more than your race and gender. You’re a Christian, you’re a mom. Your intellect.”

“You have earned this spot, you are worthy. You are a great American,” he added.

Booker on Sunday said the purpose of his speech was to “reaffirm the truth” regarding Jackson after three Republicans questioned the nominee.

“And so by the time it got to me after three Republicans in a row who were really over the top, the energy in that room, I just wanted to reaffirm the truth of the matter that I think most Americans know, which is how special this person is, and bring our attention back to how incredibly special this moment is in America,” he said.

Booker later in the interview said some moments of Jackson’s hearing were “deflating” and “disappointing,” including when Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) asked the nominee to provide a definition for the word “woman.”

“I think there were a lot of moments like that, that were deflating to me and disappointing to me,” Booker said when asked about Blackburn’s questioning of Jackson.

“I think that what was unfortunate in the room for me was that she was getting attacks that were roundly criticized even by people on the right as being beyond the pale,” he later added.

Tags Cory Booker Dana Bash Ketanji Brown Jackson Marsha Blackburn

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