The confirmation of Ketanji Brown-Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States this past Thursday was historic, we have been told time and again by politicians, media pundits, and celebrities. She is historic, not because of anything she has accomplished in her life, she is historic because of her race and her gender, how she was born. Joe Biden completely marginalized her accomplishments, because he announced prior to nominating her, that he would only nominate a person who was black and female – the very criteria that makes the nomination historic. Unlike, Barack Obama who had to beat out people of other races and genders to become the first black president, Ketanji Brown-Jackson only had to beat out other black and female candidates whose nominations would have been equally as historic as hers if anyone of them were chosen by Joe Biden. So, it was not Ketanji Brown-Jackson who made this accomplishment historic, in fact, it was Joe Biden, a white male who did that.
Our society’s hyper-focus on race and gender, diminishes our country, our institutions, and each one of us. We all become reduced to our race and our gender, and who we are and what we do become marginalized, as we have seen with Ketanji Brown Jackson whose confirmation is only historic when she has been reduced down to her race and her gender. Her confirmation is additionally historic because she is the first Justice confirmed to the Supreme Court explicitly put there because of her race and gender.
The belief that intentionally diversifying the court by nominating someone solely based on race and gender is a desirable because different races and genders bring a “different perspective” to the court, is racist and sexist at its core; it is based on the erroneous assumption that everyone of a specific race or gender holds the same point of view, and that point of view is different from those of other races and sexes. Can someone tell me what the “black” legal perspective is? Or what the “woman” legal perspective is? No one can, because there isn’t one; blacks and women are not monolithic in their thinking. Last I checked, Clarence Thomas and Ketanji Brown-Jackson have two completely different legal perspectives. Amy Coney-Barrett and Elena Kagan consistently rule differently in the cases they hear. So, there isn’t a monolithic black woman legal perspective that was needed on the Supreme Court to broaden its thinking. Believing there is a black perspective or woman perspective is not only racist but is a threat to the Constitution itself. It is not the Justices’ job to interpret the Constitution based on their personal life experiences, it’s their job to defend the Constitution which Ketanji Brown-Jackson seemed very unwilling to do during her confirmation hearings.
Even if being nominated based solely on her race and gender meant that she would not be the most qualified candidate, I assumed that she would not be any more of a threat to our democracy than any other liberal justice who Biden would have nominated; she would hold very similar opinions as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or Sonia Sotomayor, or even Joseph Breyer who she replaced. The biggest concern with Ketanji Brown-Jackson has nothing to do with her intelligence or her experience, it has everything to do with her hostility towards our Constitution, the very document the Supreme Court is designed to protect and defend. The number one criteria for a Supreme Court Justice is not race, gender, intellect or experience, it is fealty to the Constitution. You could be the smartest person in the world, but if you are not bound by the Constitution, if you have no constraints, then your decisions could be diabolical. So, Ketanji Brown-Jackson is actually historic because she is the first Supreme Court Justice who has openly refused to affirm the fundamental principles of our Constitution.
During her confirmation process, in response to a written question from Senator Ted Cruz about natural rights of citizens, Brown-Jackson wrote, "I do not hold a position on whether individuals possess natural rights." That is a departure from 240 years of Supreme Court Precedent. If there are no natural rights, then every person is a subject to the state.
Later during her Senate nomination hearing, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana asked Jackson, "when does equal protection of the laws attach ... to a human being?" Jackson replied, "I actually don't know the answer to that question. I'm sorry."
So, in her confirmation hearings, she openly questioned two fundamental principles of our Constitution. If she refused to defend those basic principles, we know that she will rule against them when sitting on the bench. Only a Justice, whose very nomination to the court was a violation of a half of century of Civil Rights law, and of Constitutional precedent, could openly defy the principles of the Constitution this way. She also said she could not define what a woman was, which means her decisions will be informed by the politics of the issues, and not the Constitutional principles involved. Her brazen refusal to reaffirm the foundational principles of our country means she will actively work to tear them down as a Supreme Court Justice.
You would think that if Joe Biden was going to nominate this “historic” justice to the Supreme Court, he would choose someone who was more mainstream in her jurisprudence, in order to bring a level of unity behind her confirmation as a way to bring the country together, but Biden did the exact opposite. He nominated a justice who is at the extreme left of Constitutional thought, so automatically half the country would oppose her based on ideology. But he did it intentionally as a way to bring someone this radical onto the court and shield her behind her race and gender because any attack on her can be framed as racism or sexism. On Friday, Joe Biden heavily criticized Senate Republicans for asking Ketanji Brown-Jackson legitimate questions on her judicial record and philosophy, calling these questions “vile”, “baseless”, and “verbal abuse”.
Maybe, Ketanji Brown-Jackson is the fulfillment of Barack Obama’s promise to “fundamentally change” America. The best way to bring about fundamental change in a country is to destroy the country’s Constitution. If we don’t have natural rights and equal protection under the law, we do not have a Constitution, or at least not the Constitution that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison penned. And destroying the Constitution – the document which limits the power of the government, not the governed – is the fundamental step in replacing our Democratic Republic with a neo-Marxist government. When you undercut the basic premises of the very document designed to prevent an authoritarian takeover of our country, there is nothing stopping the totalitarians from taking over. And we are supposed to applaud this confirmation because she has the desired skin pigmentation and sex chromosomes, which blinds us to the dangers that someone who thinks, not looks, but thinks like her poses to the Court and our country.
My objection to the confirmation of Ketanji Brown-Jackson to the Supreme Court has nothing to do with her skin color or her gender, it has everything to do with her beliefs as a justice, and her hostility towards our Constitution. She has become historic for all the wrong reasons, and in all the wrong ways. Truly historic was when our founders penned the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, putting forth the ideas that every person is bestowed with unalienable rights, life, liberty and justice. That was historic. That was a departure from where the world was at that time, when human beings were not free, when they did not have unalienable rights, when they were subjects of a king or a tyrant, when there was no equal justice under the law. So, this “historic” justice is really ahistorical because she aims to undue all of the vitally important historic achievements in our nation’s history.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.