Biden accuses Republicans of ‘verbal abuse’ against Jackson
President Biden on Friday decried the manner in which some Republicans treated Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson as “verbal abuse” as he celebrated her confirmation at a White House event.
Biden acknowledged that he anticipated the confirmation process would be “painful” for his nominee but said that the GOP questioning of Jackson during her hearings last month exceeded his expectations.
“I have to tell you, what Judge Jackson was put through was well beyond that. It was verbal abuse — the anger, the constant interruptions, the most vile and baseless assertions and accusations,” he said.
“In the face of it all, Judge Jackson showed the incredible character and integrity she possesses,” Biden continued. “Poise — poise and composure. Patience and restraint. And yes, perseverance and even joy.”
Jackson faced some harsh lines of questioning about her sentencing in certain child pornography cases and about critical race theory from GOP Sens. Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Ted Cruz (Texas), respectively, during her confirmation hearings.
Biden on Friday also appeared to be referring to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who frequently interrupted Jackson during one of the hearings.
Democrats have accused Republicans of unfair, baseless and racist attacks against Jackson, who will be the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court when she is officially sworn in later this year.
Ultimately, the Senate confirmed Jackson on Thursday. Three Republicans — Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) — voted with Democrats to confirm her to the high court.
Biden thanked those Republicans during his remarks on Friday and also commended Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) handling of the confirmation process.
Democrats are expected to highlight Republican criticism of Jackson as they tout her nomination to voters ahead of the midterm elections.
However, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters later Friday that hitting Republicans on their treatment of Jackson would not be a central focus of Biden’s as he speaks to voters in the coming months.
“I think the American people can expect that he’ll continue to talk about … how to bring down their costs, how to make sure that he is fighting for the and bring them relief and how he’s going to get the COVID pandemic under control, less about the conduct of senators at a hearing,” Psaki said.
—Updated at 3:55 p.m.
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