VIDEO: Booker Delivers Opening Statement at the Nomination Hearing of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson


VIDEO: Booker Delivers Opening Statement at the Nomination Hearing of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson


Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), the only Black member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, delivered his opening statement at the hearing of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States. In his remarks, Booker highlighted Judge Jackson’s extraordinary credentials, her experience working in a bipartisan manner, and the historic nature of her nomination.


Key Excerpts:

“Let me just acknowledge the fact that this is not normal. It’s never happened before; the Senate is poised right now to break another barrier; we are on the precipice of shattering another [glass] ceiling — it’s a sign that we as a country are continuing to rise to our collective, cherished, [and] highest ideals.”

“I know that in our nation, for the 200-plus years of our history, there have been extraordinarily talented black people…Muslim men and women….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. I believe we say these words justice for all, but there are many of people who feel those words have been diminished by the lack of representation; the lack of avenues for talented people to ascend to our courts.”

“Today, we should rejoice because President Biden nominated someone…to be the 116th, associate judge of The Supreme Court who is extraordinarily talented, and who also happens to be a black woman, something we’ve never seen before.”

“I just want to talk about [Judge Jackson’s] role as a public defender because that too, is unprecedented…. I’m not sure if most Americans know that 80% of those who go before our nation’s criminal courts can’t afford an attorney. To this end, a public defender should be looked at as one of the most honorable roles within our judicial system. And yet, we have never had a public defender or anyone has served as a public defender on our highest court.”

I love the fact that you have been a bridge builder in so many ways. You have the support of Republican appointed judges and Democratic appointed judges. Heck, you were confirmed by the Senate in a bipartisan manner three times.”


“The more you spoke about your personal story, the more I know it is an American story that folks from all backgrounds can relate to.”


“Behind you and your family is your daughter Leila. And when she was 11 years old — I love this — she wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to nominate [her] mother, you, to the United States Supreme Court…. 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.”

“I think more people at the end of these hearings, and after a Senate vote, more people will believe that we can be the nation we say we are when we put our hand on our heart. Indeed, I think you and your family are giving a lot more people faith that we will achieve a nation of liberty and justice for all. Thank you.”

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