The GOP-led attacks on Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during a grueling two days of hearings have not seemed to faze the mother of two — or her legions of supporters.
“Her very presence as a Black woman, we knew we’d be looking out for the nuances,” said Glynda Carr, co-founder of Higher Heights, a political organization that works to elect Black women into office.
“Nuances” may be a veiled way of describing the barrage of questions, lectures and interruptions Jackson confronted from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) about lightning-rod topics including critical race theory, the definition of what a woman is and Jackson’s record on child sex crimes.
“The idea that this was going to be a fair and nontoxic hearing” is almost nothing compared to the microaggressions Black women face in daily life, said Carr, who saw Jackson’s position in the hot seat as something to celebrate.
“It is important for us to celebrate this milestone on full display this week,” she said. “We are seeing the achievements of Black women who are leading at the highest level.”
Carr and dozens of other organizers and supporters packed Capitol Hill this week, and many more hosted watch parties and virtual events to take in the historic proceedings. If confirmed, Jackson would be the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court.
The Black Women’s Collective, an organization based in California, hosted a live stream of the hearing in a Hyatt in Washington, D.C., on Monday, according to the Washington Post. Attendees were surrounded by framed photos of Jackson and purple posters with the hashtag #ConfirmJudgeJackson. In Atlanta, the Black Women’s Leadership Committee hosted its own watch party.
Activists also gathered outside of the Supreme Court, where Sabriya Williams, co-founder of She Will Rise, told participants to raise their voices for Jackson. “Let’s make sure she hears us,” Williams said, according to the Post.
There were some brighter moments during the hearings, especially from Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who praised Jackson as a “harbinger of hope” and spoke about how she has inspired other girls and women who look like her.
“You are my star,” he said in an emotional speech, eliciting tears from the nominee. “This country is getting better and better.”
Jackson’s perseverance was on full display as she addressed her daughters, ages 21 and 17, whom she shares with husband Dr. Patrick Brown.
“Girls, I know it has not been easy as I have tried to navigate the challenges of juggling my career and motherhood,” she said during her opening statement. “And I fully admit I did not always get the balance right. But I hope that you’ve seen that with hard work, determination and love, it can be done.”
When asked if she thinks Jackson will be confirmed, Carr replied: “She checks every box.”
“She is by all means qualified and ready to serve,” she said. And, if Jackson is not confirmed, Carr added that the country will see “the unleashing of Black women’s organizing power.”
Anusha Bayya contributed to this report.