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Monday, March 28, 2022


by Emily Rock

Jack Ohman: Law & Order, Senate GOP

…were on display in the Senate as Ketanji Brown Jackson
faced down the Judiciary Committee
on the way to (please, let it be so) the Supreme Court.
Ghostly white Lindsey Graham, with his trademark drawl,
claimed “It’s about ‘we’re all racist’ if we ask hard questions.  
That’s not gonna fly with us.”
She was gracious: “I am happy to do whatever…”
she said as Chuck Grassley mumbled gruffly, interrupting her.
“No, that’s alright,” she said.  “I’m sorry.”

The Senator from Missouri said in his tweets
that Judge Jackson’s record on child pornography offenders
went “beyond soft on crime,” her record “endangers our children.”
She was calm: “As a judge and a mother, nothing
could be further from the truth.”
And she explained, though Josh Hawley deserved nothing
from her, that she told every criminal defendant
about the many victims' statements she received,
ensuring the child's perspective was heard in her court.
“When I look in the eyes of a defendant who is weeping,” she said,
 “I tell them about a victim who developed agoraphobia,
who thinks everyone she meets will have seen her pictures on the internet.”
I imagined an unflinching Jackson looking an offender in the eyes,
not softened by his tears—the sad sad tears of a man who has been caught,
which reminded me of her future colleague, Brett Kavanaugh:
how he cried during his own confirmation hearing,
how his emotional outbursts would be blamed on PMS
if he were a woman instead of a self-righteous white man.
Ketanji Brown Jackson said “I hope that you will see
how much I love our country, and our Constitution,”
and I recalled Kavanaugh repeating “I like beer.”
I thought of his victims, Christine Blasey Ford
and the others whose voices were not heard,
who watched their assailant weep
and go red in the face, defend his honor,
defend his entitlement to a seat
on the highest court—and prevail.
If Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed,
she will join two men who have been credibly accused
of crimes against women,
she will join a supermajority of aggressors
gleefully eviscerating Roe v. Wade,
stripping voting protections,
all while claiming the mantle
of Originalism, their philosophy
stuck in the 1700s with the slave-owning founders.
And yet, Republicans have tarred her 
with the absurd accusation
that she is somehow a threat to “our children.”
Whose children, I would ask Josh Hawley.
Whose children are threatened by a black woman 
with a gavel and a robe?

Emily Rock is an attorney and mother of two who lives in New Haven, Connecticut.