Janette McCarthy Wallace, NAACP General Counsel, released the following statement regarding the treatment of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during the Senate confirmation hearings:
"Last week, after a careful review of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's record, including her written opinions as a judge on the federal district court and U.S. Court of Appeals, her work as an attorney, and her tenure on the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the NAACP announced its unqualified support for her confirmation.
We also cautioned Senators to treat her with respect and courtesy warranted for a nominee to the nation's highest court.
This week, the world saw what the NAACP knew: that Judge Jackson is an outstanding jurist with the intellect, experience, understanding of the law, and judicial temperament, that makes her ideally suited to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Unfortunately, the world also saw the unacceptable and outrageous manner in which some members of the Senate Judiciary Committee treated Judge Jackson during her testimony. Several senators ignored our entreaty to accord her appropriate courtesy and behaved in a most reprehensible and disrespectful manner. They were rude and hostile, asked inane, irrelevant, and inappropriate questions interrupted and cut off Judge Jackson when she attempted to answer, alternatively speaking to her as if she were a child, a criminal suspect, or a sworn enemy. While this blatant display of disrespect and racism toward a highly-qualified Black woman was, unfortunately, not surprising, it was nonetheless shocking and disheartening.
To her credit, Judge Jackson rose above this boorish and racist treatment directed at her and responded with extraordinary dignity, grace, patience, and brilliance. She demonstrated the kind of justice she would be – knowledgeable, confident, prepared, fair, and rational. But the fact that Judge Jackson bested her interrogators does not make their treatment of her any less disgraceful and unacceptable.
As Judge Jackson's confirmation process moves forward, we once again urge all Senators to accord her the utmost respect and civility she has earned and deserves. We also urge them to take seriously their Constitutional duty to advise and consent, one of the Senate's most solemn and important tasks, and not treat this process as merely an opportunity to score petty political points based on demagoguery and racism.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is an extraordinary, historic nominee who deserves the vote of every senator. The NAACP will work diligently in the coming weeks to help ensure her confirmation."