‘A day of joy.’ Booker welcomes 1st Black woman nominated to U.S. Supreme Court at confirmation hearing

Published: Mar. 21, 2022

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker called Monday “a day of joy” as he welcomed the first Black woman nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In his opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Booker noted the historic nature of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing.

“This is not a normal day for America. We have never had this moment before,” said Booker, who broke his own barrier as the first Black elected to the U.S. Senate from New Jersey.

“The Senate is poised right now to break another barrier. We are on the precipice of shattering another glass ceiling.”

Among the previous 115 Supreme Court justices were other firsts, Booker said, citing the first Black, Thurgood Marshall; the first woman, Sandra Day O’Connor; and the first Hispanic, Sonia Sotomayor.

“I know that in our nation for the 200 plus years of our history, there have been extraordinarily talented Black people, men and women, Muslim men and women from the founding of our nation,” Booker said. “We’ve seen extraordinary indigenous men and women, all who probably could have added to the greatness of our courts, but they were denied that opportunity.”

Booker mentioned President Joe Biden’s diverse nominees for the lower federal courts, including Zahid Quraishi to the U.S. District Court for New Jersey. He is the first Muslim American to serve as a federal district judge.

But he returned to Jackson.

“Today to me is a day of joy. I cannot tell you how happy I am. Today we should rejoice,” Booker said. “Judge Jackson’s nomination breaks an artificially confining mold of our past and opens up a more promising potential-filled future for all of us.”

He told the story of how Jackson’s daughter Leila, then 11, wrote to President Barack Obama and asked him to select her mother to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia on the high court.

Booker said that in the future, such letters would not be exceptional.

“We’re going to see a new generation of children talking about their mamas and daring to write to the president of the United States of America that my mom should be on the Supreme Court,” Booker said. “Well, I want to tell your daughter right now that that dream of hers is so close to being a reality. Some tough days ahead, but I think it could happen.”

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published this page in News and Politics 2022-03-22 03:32:13 -0700