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Sen. Booker speaks to the love that brings Jackson to the verge of the Supreme Court

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., hugs Johnny Brown, the father of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, after Booker spoke Wednesday during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on her nomination to become a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Jim Watson
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AFP via Getty Images
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., hugs Johnny Brown, the father of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, after Booker spoke Wednesday during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on her nomination to become a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In moving remarks, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said he was emotional at the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, and expressed frustration with the tone of the questions some of his GOP colleagues asked on the third day of Jackson's confirmation hearing.

Booker said on Wednesday during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that Jackson — who would be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court — is an extraordinary testament of what can be accomplished against the odds.

"I want to tell you when I look at you, this is why I get emotional," said Booker, the only Black member of the Senate committee and one of only three Black senators. "I'm sorry — you're a person that is so much more than your race and gender."

Booker noted that Jackson is a Christian, a mother and an intellect and that she has a love of books.

Jackson and others in the audience wiped away tears as Booker spoke. He also became emotional at times.

He noted in one example how the film Hidden Figures finally elevated recognition for the work of Black women behind the NASA program, and also mentioned Jackson's parents' patriotism, even though their country "didn't love them back."

"All these people loved their country," Booker said.

"You faced insults here that were shocking to me — well, actually not shocking," he said. "But you are here because of that kind of love, and nobody is taking that away from me."

As the panel wrapped up the third day of hearings on Wednesday, Majority Leader Dick Durbin announced that the committee planned to meet in executive session on Jackson's nomination March 28. The panel's rules allow for any committee business to be held over for one week, which could push the vote to April 4.

The committee will resume the confirmation hearings again Thursday, the fourth and final day, to hear from witnesses.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Claudia Grisales is a congressional reporter assigned to NPR's Washington Desk.

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