LIVE: Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmation Hearings Wonkette Liveblog, Day One!
Clarence Thomas is in the hospital right now, and that is all we are going to say about that.
Today, confirmation hearings start for Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman ever nominated to the highest court in the land. She's been confirmed by the Senate several times, so this should be smooth sailing, but Republicans are assholes, so they're going to need to launch some lie-filled attacks at her.
Today we will hear from all the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and their opening statements. Will GOP Senator Josh Hawley do his little dance today, or will he wait until later this week during his questioning? Dunno, but you probably should send your children out of the room when he starts talking just in case.
11:05: Good morning! We have started, and committee chair Dick Durbin is introducing the proceedings. There's something fucked up with the sound, both on MSNBC and in the PBS livestream, so we guess it's not the networks, it's the Senate's problem itself.
So that's awesome.
Dick Durbin says [technical difficulties with sound] and also [technical difficulties].
11:08: By the way, even the National Review thinks Josh Hawley's nasty bullshit attacks on KBJ's record on child porn are gross. But this is what Hawley does. He's a seditionist and he's not a serious person. He wants to be famous, so he makes up some bullshit that's so ridiculous that even his dumbest colleagues won't follow him. Everybody clap for Josh Hawley, yaaaaaaaaay.
Oh look, sounds like the Senate figured out its sound problem.
11:14: Haha, Durbin just is going ahead and noting that Josh Hawley's upcoming attacks are bullshit. (He had already addressed them before the hearing.) Also says any upcoming attacks on Jackson based on who she defended as a public defender where that was her job are just obvious bullshit as well.
Now it is Chuck Grassley's time to say once upon a time there was a butter cow at the Iowa State Fair and he can't wait to see it again, in summary and in conclusion, Chuck Grassley.
11:17: Chuck Grassley says today is going great because people aren't interrupting like they did at the beginning of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.
We'd say this is going better than those hearings because the SCOTUS nominee isn't a credibly accused sexual predator.
11:19: Grassley talkin' about elephants in mouse-holes or something. This is his argument about "originalism."
11:20: Pretty sure Grassley just made a up a new word for "racist" and it was "racious."
11:25: Chuck Grassley says don't worry about them cherrypicking Jackson's opinions, Republicans will have bullshit to say about all her opinions.
Also he is whining about "dark money" and nefarious groups, which is funny in a world that includes the Federalist Society that literally vomited nominees up Donald Trump's butt and that's why we have to endure Amy Coney Barrett's Aunt Lydia song and dance on the court for the next 700 centuries.
11:30: Haha, MSNBC cuts away just in time for Pat Leahy, we guess because pfffffffft. They say if you want to watch the whole hearing live, you may scan "QR code."
Also there is that thing where Russia is currently on its 26th day of massacring Ukraine for literally no reason beside Vladimir Putin is having a temper tantrum. And all the other things in the world.
11:34: Leahy notes, like Durbin did, how ridiculous the "soft on crime" accusations are, considering all the support she has from police groups and how she comes from a cop family full of cops.
11:40: It is Lindsey Graham's turn, aren't we all excited? Graham says it is good to have a Court that looks like America, but he also wants the Court to "play a particular role in America" and "operate in the confines of the Constitution." Yeah, we know what white Republicans mean when they say things like that.
Hey, remember Graham screaming and wailing during the Kavanaugh hearings? That was funny.
Anyway, now Graham is whining about unqualified awful garbage asshole Republican nominees who didn't get confirmed even though they were racial minorities, just because they were unqualified awful garbage asshole Republicans.
He is also mad Joe Biden did not pick Michelle Childs as his nominee, even though that was the one Lindsey Graham liked.
Look at this loser:
11:47: Lindsey Graham is also very mad that KBJ will not have questions asked about what her church believes or anything like this. (It's because Democratic nominees aren't batshit like Republican nominees are.)
And Lindsey is STILL whining that Michelle Childs didn't get picked.
God, listening to Republicans whine that Joe Biden didn't obey and pick the person they demanded he pick is just ridiculous.
11:54: Dianne Feinstein is giving her opening statement and it's fine, but we can't stop thinking about how amazingly complimentary she was during Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearings.
11:58: John Cornyn also patting self on back for how "civil" Republicans are going to be. They will never stop crying about the fact that Democrats were willing to say out loud that Donald Trump's nominees were unqualified partisan hacks unfit to sit on the Court.
12:02: Cornyn is also superGRRRmad that we all say out loud right now that Trump's justices are unqualified partisan hacks who are only there to make Republicans' wet dreams bucket list goals happen with their gavels. Oh well, that's just true. Watch what happens in June when they either overturn Roe or gut it beyond all recognition.
12:05: Cornyn saying words about "pro-abortion" and "anti-religious liberty," so go ahead and start drinking.
Now Sheldon Whitehouse, who is literally actually the expert on dark money groups, who will hopefully talk about what full-of-shit assholes Republicans are. He already used the words "dark money turnstile" and that Jackson has been confirmed by the Senate three times before, so he's off to a good start.
12:10: Whitehouse says Jackson is here on her own merit, not based on some weird dark money pre-selection process. He's bringin' it.
12:14: Utah GOP Senator Mike Lee talking now, let's see how he can make this weird. He's always good for that.
12:15: Mike Lee is also very mad about "politics of personal destruction," because (unspoken) obviously he is also mad those people said Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted them. How unfair of them to do "politics of personal destruction" to him!
12:18: Lee saying weird thirsty things about the founders being "raised up by God" to found America. Get a room with a bust of George Washington, dude.
12:21: Mike Lee says it's very important to understand the law the same exact way the (white) men who wrote it understood it. They were omnipotent and nothing ever changes in the world, that's why originalism makes sense as a philosophy for serious people.
Mike Lee also says it sickens him when people "delegitimize" the Court by talking about court-packing and such. It says nine Supreme Court justices in the Bible! Just kidding, no it doesn't. But nine is the best number, nine is the only number, Mike Lee likes nine!
12:23: Here is Amy Klobuchar to bring things back to an adult level, thank god.
12:32: Klobuchar's opening statement has been just very good, but now she's closing by talking about what's happening in Ukraine, and her own experiences last week going to the Polish-Ukrainian border. She's talking about how this is showing us the fragility of democracy and just ... it's just a good opening statement. We'll post the video when we see it.
12:35: Ted Cruz sounds like he's got some crap inside his face. Is he doing a confirmation hearing while sick?
12:37: Ted Cruz blah blah "Democrats don't want the Supreme Court to be democratic" blah blah blah.
12:38: Cruz says only liberals really attack nominees for being disgusting and unacceptable like Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, just because they're disgusting and unacceptable. And oh he is also very mad that the Democrats allowed sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh to be aired.
Ted Cruz promises nobody will ask Jackson about her "teenage dating habits" or ask "do you like beer?" Because that's what that was really about, to white Republican men.
12:43: This is what it looks like when you have to smile respectfully at a person who doesn't deserve smiles or respect.
12:45: Ted Cruz wants to know if SCOTUS judges will stop "abominations like partial birth abortion," which is an imaginary thing right-wingers made up. Will Ketanji Brown Jackson stop things Republicans make up in their lying dumb brains?
Anyway, here is Chris Coons, another serious person.
12:55: These Democrats are mostly just being normal people talking about normal things and being kind, so we don't feel the need to make jokes about all of it. A bad Republican will be next.
12:56: It is Ben Sasse, who isn't bad like Josh Hawley, but we are sure he'll say somethin' real stupid. He says it's hard to follow Chris Coons, who ended with a section about Ruby Bridges.
1:00: Ben Sasse used the word "jackwagon" and is talking about "evidence-free personal attacks." So he's going to whine about every piece of shit Republican nominee from Robert Bork forward. Says Amy Coney Barrett was the victim of "religious bigotry." (You know, because of her vicious religious beliefs.) And that Brett Kavanaugh was accused of "serial rape." (Just because there were these people who said he sexually assaulted them.)
Occam's Razor says unacceptable illegitimate presidents like Donald Trump nominated unacceptable illegitimate people who are exactly the partisan hacks we said they were. Simple as that.
1:05: Richard Blumenthal now. Watch it and tell us how it is! We will be back to comment on the next dumbass Republican.
1:15: Here's Josh Hawley! This is the part where he pulls out his pee-pee (figuratively!) and shows it to everybody in hopes we will be impressed.
Now he is reading out the cases involved in his completely debunked child porn smear.
1:22: Mazie Hirono goes after Josh Hawley in the order of questioning. This may end up being important in the question-and-answer sections, in case she needs to call bullshit on Hawley. She's good at reading these fools for filth.
1:32: After many wonderful words and stories, Hirono ends by saying she has no doubt Jackson will push back HARD against all the bullshit Republicans are saying about her.
And now there will be lunch for 30 minutes, and then five more senators, and then Jackson will speak.
2:08: Uhhhhhh, we just clicked back on the hearing and it is Tom Cotton shaking his teailfeathers around about "lawlessness" or something. You know, in case you weren't sure there was a bigger child in the room than Josh Hawley.
2:10: It's got to be so weird being Ketanji Brown Jackson just listening to Tom Cotton making up imaginary things about Merrick Garland being mobilized against conservative parents. How do you keep a straight face?
2:12: Tom Cotton: "WE ARE WITNESSING A BREAKDOWN OF SOCIETY!"
We feel like what is really happening here is that Tom Cotton is telling Ketanji Brown Jackson that he is scared of Black people.
2:15: Tom Cotton says it's not enough for KBJ to say she will fairly apply the law. Does he need her to promise that she'll rule like a white Christian supremacist?
2:16: Tom Cotton says living constitutions are by definition dead. That's not how that works.
2:17: And now we have Cory Booker. Hopefully he'll get a chance during the hearings to call Tom Cotton a piece of shit.
2:20: Haha, Cory Booker says we shouldn't diminish the contributions of the 108 white dudes that have been on SCOTUS. Good job, 108 white guys! But really wants us to take in how historic this is.
2:26: The judge is doing a fine job keeping her composure in the face of white garbage Republican men, but the smile she gives when good people are talking to her is wonderful.
2:30: Get ready for something jarring, because we move now to John Kennedy of Louisiana, one of the biggest clowns in the entire Senate.
2:31: John Kennedy wants to, "implicitly if not implicitly," talk about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. How can we enhance it? (We have ideas.)
Kennedy says sometimes the majority of what America wants means "all the fools are on the same side." So folksy, this guy who went to Oxford.
2:48: Democratic Senator Alex Padilla from California has been saying many good things, and now he's speaking in Spanish, because he's one of the only people in the Senate who can do that.
2:51: Raise your hand if you are tired of Republican senators. Will be nice to actually hear from the nominee here in a few minutes! We ... think? ... Thom Tillis is last.
2:55: Thom Tillis is blah blah blahing about how he's going to keep an open mind and he's reading KBJ's thesis and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
2:57: Oh just kidding Thom Tillis is not last, here is Jon Ossoff.
3:02: Oh God this committee is endless. Wanna see the yokel from Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn, talk about how the SCOTUS decision that guaranteed married couples access to birth control was "confusing"? We have a post about that right now!
3:05: Blackburn says Tennessee parents are real worried about transgender people in sports, that's what they're worried about. "Americans need a Supreme Court justice" who will "protect our children" and stand up for parents, against, um, transgender people.
Blackburn is upset that Jackson is on the board of a school that says people can "choose their gender" and also even mentions white privilege, OMG!
3:08: LOL Blackburn says Jackson was always advocated for "greater freedom for hardened criminals." Blackburn really needs us to know that she's the stupidest Republican in the Senate. She's even repeating Josh Hawley's made-up child porn attack on Jackson.
3:10: Blackburn, like many Republicans, is using Jackson saying she really doesn't have a judicial philosophy against her. Blackburn says a judge without a philosophy is "adrift." That's right, Marsha Blackburn is saying somebody else's brain is adrift.
Anyway, this is just paint-by-numbers babbling from Blackburn.
3:12: Literally, a portrait of good vs. dumbfuckingevil:
Now special guests are going to introduce Jackson officially.
3:25: And we didn't feel like liveblogging those!
But here is the judge with her opening statement. Durbin just swore her in, and here she goes!
3:31: Awww, KBJ's daughter smiling at her dad as he wipes away a tear, while KBJ talks about how great he is.
3:39: And that's today, folks! The real questioning starts tomorrow AM.
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