Republicans Gear Up For Bullsh*t Attacks On Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Media Gears Up To Help Them.
Politics ain't beanbag, and DC is a filthy swamp. These are immovable and unchanging truths, and reporters at the Washington bloody Post know them perfectly well. And yet in this, the year 2022, they are still pretending that the GOP's blatantly bad faith attacks on Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson might actually be rooted in concern about her qualifications. As if this wasn't a transparent exercise in goalpost shifting and dogwhistling as the first Black woman ascends to our nation's highest court.
Just look at this bullshit from this morning about the GOP's very serious (haha, fuck you) concerns about Judge Jackson's ties to Harvard University:
Several GOP lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee who have begun to scrutinize Jackson’s record ahead of this month’s confirmation hearings said they intend to seek a direct explanation about the judge’s position on her alma mater’s governing board. Some contend the case examining Harvard’s admissions policies would present an early test of Jackson’s judicial ethics if she is confirmed.
REALLY? We're going to treat this like a legit discussion about judicial ethics?
“If she’s not going to recuse, she needs to tell us what her role has been” Senator John Cornyn said, presumably with knitted brow. “I expect that she’ll studiously avoid answering any questions. It seems to be the practice.”
And then the paper asked a law professor and the judicial ethics watchdog group Fix the Court (FTC) for their opinions. Well, you will be astonished to hear that they are troubled by Judge Jackson's association with her alma mater. It happens to also be the alma mater of Justices Gorsuch and Kagan, as well as Chief Justice Roberts. In fact, Justice Kagan was dean of the law school, and Justice Kavanaugh taught there until 2019, when students decided they didn't want to take classes with Rapey McKegstand any more. But no one is asking them to recuse!
The issue is that the Supreme Court's six conservative justices are all geared up to kill affirmative action this fall. Swapping Judge Jackson out for Justice Breyer won't make any difference, but because Jackson sits on Harvard's Board of Overseers (or will for another two months) and because her daughter will be attending this fall, they're pretending to have deep concern about the ethics of her participating in the decision.
Five minutes ago Republican thought leader Tucker Carlson (not a joke, though it really ought to be) demanded to know Judge Jackson's LSAT scores, unsubtly suggesting that she was somehow not smart enough to get in but for her race. Now the GOP is suggesting that she might be unqualified based on her association with a party in an affirmative action case. And that is not a coincidence.
Meanwhile, Ginni Thomas is scheming to keep Trump in the White House and flogging the most insane lies about vote fraud, while her husband adjudicates cases on those very topics. Which the Post notes, sort of:
Justice Clarence Thomas has come under particular scrutiny in recent years for participating in cases that intersect with the political work of his wife, Ginni Thomas, a prominent conservative activist. But notably, he disqualified himself from the court’s review in 1996 of the Virginia Military Institute’s past admissions policy of excluding women because his son was a VMI student at the time.
Are these people seriously talking about a decision from 1996? Because Fix the Court made this handy dandy chart documenting Supreme Court recusals for the October 2021 term, and Justice Thomas recused himself from exactly one case that term, which constituted a whopping 0.4 percent of the total for all the justices combined. Meanwhile Justice Gorsuch is getting trotted around like a show pony by Mitch McConnell, and the GOP doesn't give a shit that he participates in cases that just so happen to entrench Republican power for all eternity.
So while we appreciate the organization's mission to make the nation's highest court live up to non-partisan ideals, the call for Jackson to recuse amounts to a demand for unilateral disarmament from liberals. If Judge Jackson wants to recuse, well, fine — it probably won't make any difference to the outcome anyway. But after watching McConnell refuse to even vote on Merrick Garland, blow up the filibuster for Gorsuch, push Kavanaugh despite highly credible claims of sexual assault, and then jam through Barrett in fifteen minutes, we are not here for the GOP's fake concerns about propriety and judicial ethics. And the Post, which covered the last four years of Republican shenanigans around the court, knows better than to whitewash this bullshit as if it were anything other than the usual bad faith, double standard, partisan politics.
Get your shit together, WaPo!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.