With no sense of irony and apparently a very short political memory, President Joe Biden said on Friday that Republicans crossed the line, engaging in “verbal abuse” during Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
“I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I knew the person I nominated would be put through a painful and difficult confirmation process,” Biden said during a White House ceremony celebrating Jackson’s confirmation.
“But I have to tell you, what Judge Jackson was put through was well beyond that. There was verbal abuse. The anger. The constant interruptions. The most vile, baseless assertions and accusations,” the president added.
IRONY ALERT: Biden claims “what Judge [Ketanji Brown] Jackson was put through was well beyond” “painful and difficult,” but instead “verbal abuse, the anger, the constant interruptions, the most vile, baseless assertions and accusations.” pic.twitter.com/pggkIeVCn3
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 8, 2022
What in the world is he talking about?
Jackson was asked the kinds of questions an appointee to a lifetime position on the highest court in the land should be asked, like what is her judicial philosophy?
Does she support court packing?
Do you believe Republicans treated Jackson appropriately?
Why has she imposed relatively light sentences on those convicted of child pornography-related crimes?
GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn asked some basic questions about gender, such as, “Do you agree with Justice [Ruth Bader Ginsburg] that there are physical differences between men and women that are enduring?”
Jackson would not say.
Sen. @MarshaBlackburn: “Do you agree with Justice Ginsburg that there are physical difference between men and women that are enduring?”
Ketanji Brown Jackson: *struggles to respond* pic.twitter.com/o1myU7MlRp
— Tea Party Patriots (@TPPatriots) March 23, 2022
All of it was pretty straightforward and appropriate stuff.
Now what would be beyond the pale is if Republicans had accused Jackson of engaging in criminal conduct decades ago as a high school student, based on the unsubstantiated allegations of one person aligned with them politically.
It would be even more ridiculous if they had done so after the public hearings had concluded despite having had the “evidence” for months, sparking mass protests.
Kavanaugh protests are heating up outside the Capitol building. pic.twitter.com/yjz0uxbcvd
— Juliegrace Brufke (@juliegraceb) October 6, 2018
— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 4, 2018
All of this, of course, happened during the confirmation hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.
At that time, Sen. Kamala Harris of California and other Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee, including Sens. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, staged a walkout during a hearing.
Hirono yelled, “I strongly object! What a railroad job! No, no, no,” PBS News reported.
2018 Flashback: Kamala Harris leads walkout to protest the Republicans railroading Kavanaugh’s nomination. She minced zero words. 🔥🔥🔥🔥pic.twitter.com/g6TAr8JhS8
— Madam Vice President Harris is THEE GOAT! (@flywithkamala) September 29, 2020
Did Republicans do any of these things during Jackson’s hearings? No.
Democrats pulled their stunts even after the FBI investigated the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford, who said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the early 1980s.
The Washington Post reported that a key witness named by Ford — Leland Keyser, a close friend who Ford said attended the gathering — could not corroborate her account. She did not know who Kavanaugh was, even after looking at pictures from the time.
“Keyser also said she spoke with many people who ‘wanted me to remember something different’ — suggesting that there was pressure on her to toe the line — and that she told the FBI about that,” the Post noted.
So no, sorry, Joe Biden.
Jackson went through a normal confirmation process, having to answer senators’ questions about her legal views and record.
No massive protests. No unsubstantiated allegations of criminal misconduct.
Just an appropriate review of the nominee.