Taking the Offense: Is the Jackson Nomination “Beyond Politics”?

“I just find those words offensive frankly.” Those words of Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) on Fox Sunday were telling and timely. Klobuchar was responding to my column referring to the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as a “political deliverable” by President Joe Biden. Even before Jackson’s appearance on Capitol Hill, it appears that any acknowledgement of her nomination as fulfilling Biden’s express pledge is already being called “offensive.”

It does not matter that most of us have said that Jackson has a stellar record, including in that column. This includes years of experience on the bench, which is a great strength for a nominee. It also does not matter that I agree with Klobuchar’s assessment of Jackson’s remarkable life story and praised her appearance at the White House.

In modern American politics, confirmations (for both parties) are about political deliverables and calculations. For supporters, the key is to make criticism or even questioning untenable. This weekend, while Sen. Klobuchar was calling the words “political deliverable” offensive, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D., S.C.) was on a different Sunday show to say that Jackson’s confirmation is “beyond politics” and that the vote is not about her alone but “about the country, our pursuit of a more perfect union.”

Of course, it has long been about politics and what is either offensive or inviolate depends greatly on who is nominating a candidate.

On CNN, when the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett was announced, a panel agreed with host Chris Cuomo in stating that Barrett was “a big deliverable.”

Two years earlier, liberal commentators referred to Brett Kavanaugh as “a generational deliverable and a solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court.”

Before that, CNN’s Gloria Berger referred to Neil Gorsuch in a list of “deliverables.”

Even those of us who admire Barrett acknowledged that her nomination was a major deliverable. None of that was viewed as offensive.

It was also not offensive for Democratic senators to accuse Barrett of being nominated to vote against the Affordable Care Act, surrounding her with pictures of people who she was expected to harm or kill in that mission. At the time, I wrote that the suggestion was preposterous, the case was extremely unlikely to overturn the ACA, and Barrett was more likely to vote to preserve the Act in that case. That is precisely what she did but not a single Democratic senator apologized for the treatment of Barrett.

Democratic senators also said that they would vote against Barrett solely on the basis of her conservative approach to constitutional interpretation while demanding that she confirm her vote on future cases dealing with Roe v. Wade. I warned at the time that they were creating a type of “Barrett Rule” that could be applied to the next Democratic nominee. That nominee is now Jackson who refused to discuss her own judicial philosophy in her appellate nomination. If Democrats were allowed to vote against nominees like Barrett on the basis of her judicial philosophy, Republicans are unlikely to view the same grounds as barred in this nomination.

What is particularly striking about the offense taken early on Jackson is that President Biden was the first to cite this nomination as a deliverable to win votes in the primary. Biden declared that he would only consider black females for the first vacancies and campaigned on that promise with African American voters. No one claimed that was offensive or wrong, even though the Supreme Court itself has declared such threshold race and gender exclusions to be unconstitutional or unlawful by schools or businesses.

Jackson was also the choice of far left groups who opposed the more moderate short lister District Judge J. Michelle Childs. The nomination delivered a reliable vote on the left for the Court.

The real question is whether the Senate will tolerate any serious questions about Jackson.  The Democrats insisted that Barrett discuss her judicial philosophy and Barrett did so. That was appropriate. A nominee should not be judged simply on the basis of a life story. Barrett was also highly accomplished, but the Democrats were unrelenting in their opposition. Other nominees like Robert Bork were highly credentialed but were rejected on the basis of judicial philosophy.

The Democrats maintained a two-year filibuster (yes, the “relic of Jim Crow”) against Judge Janice Rogers Brown, who was seeking to become only the second black woman on the D.C. Circuit.  Brown also had an extensive record of experience and incredible life story. She was born to Alabama sharecroppers and grew up in the segregated South and worked as a single mother. Like the equally moving life story of Clarence Thomas, Brown’s background was largely dismissed or ignored by the media and Democratic senators. She was opposed by two future Democratic presidents: Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Democratic senators also used the filibuster to block a vote on Miguel Estrada, who finally relented and withdrew his name. Estrada also had a moving and accomplished background. Arriving at the age of 17 with little English, he went on to graduate magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia and then magna cum laude from Harvard Law School where he served as editor of Harvard Law Review. Sound familiar?

Estrada was shredded by the Democrats. After he withdrew, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D., Mass.) took a victory lap and said ”This should serve as a wake-up call to the White House that it cannot simply expect the Senate to rubber-stamp judicial nominations.”

None of this matters, of course. Despite the campaign pledge leading to the Jackson nominee, any reference to the threshold criteria or the campaign on the left will not be tolerated.

President Biden can continue to campaign on delivering on his promise with this nomination, but the nomination cannot be described as a deliverable. However, past and future Republican nominees can be deliverables, but their accomplished backgrounds are largely unmentionable.

During the primary, critics accused Biden not of treating this future nomination as “beyond politics” but treating it as politics itself. Ironically, it was Clyburn who told Biden to make the pledge in the presidential debate. Biden did so and secured not only Clyburn’s endorsement but won the critical South Carolina primary. That does not make Jackson an unworthy candidate for the Court. As I have said, she has a great resume and reputation. In the end, politics propels nominations, it does not define nominees. However, the question is whether the “beyond politics” narrative will put this nominee beyond serious scrutiny in the confirmation process.

150 thoughts on “Taking the Offense: Is the Jackson Nomination “Beyond Politics”?”

  1. Biden: “Putin May Circle Kiev with Tanks, But He’ll Never Gain the Hearts and Souls of the Iranian People”

    Biden: “You Can’t Build a Wall High Enough to Keep Out a Vaccine”


    Does that really need an explanation or is Go Brandon enough?

    Remember, he had a teleprompter.

    1. “I’ve bought more pills than anyone in the world has.”

      Party at Joe’s! (Hunter will be there for sure).

    2. “‘But He’ll Never Gain the Hearts and Souls of the Iranian People.’”

      That’s nothing. Here’s the Cackling Queen’s explanation of Putin’s invasion — in terms for a second-grader:

      “Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine, so basically that’s wrong.”

  2. This preposterous, malignant and unimaginable scene in Ukraine is reminiscent of daily operations at Auschwitz; it’s as if the world is watching Auschwitz in real time.

    Putin must be made to blink.

    “If not us, who? And if not now, when?”

    – Ronald Reagan

  3. Kind of funny in a gallows humor way:

    Reports that Putin’s illness has rendered him mentally unstable.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch : Biden.

    So we have two powerful, nuclear countries, one led by a man with dementia and the other by a man who is bats**t crazy.

    What could go wrong?

  4. WATCH YOURSELF. Milley the socialist un American pro socialist General could use that line to activate troops . Fact is the whole thing was racist drivel

  5. Just imagine what would happen if an NFL team came out and said “We are going to draft the best white athlete we can find.” Instead they say that they are not considering a position but that they will draft the best athlete available. They know that in the long run the best player available will be the best acquisition both for his play and for his trade value at a future date. They don’t care if the player is black or white. They want a player that will help the team succeed. Joe Biden doesn’t give a damn if team America succeeds. Joe Biden is like the player on the team who only cares about himself. Players like Joe only drag the team down. Players like Joe are soon deservedly placed on the waiver wire .

  6. Joe Biden was going to become the Democratic candidate for President whether he committed to appoint a black female to the court or not. Just take a look at his competition. Pocahontas comes to mind. So, why did he announce that his appointment would be a black female? He did it for the same reason that he said the Republicans were “going to put you all back in chains.” He thinks that he is the smartest guy in town but as each day passes he reveals, as attested to by the polls, that he is considered to be very seriously mentally challenged from birth. His new appointment regardless of her qualifications will be forever considered the first affirmative action judge. Joe Biden could have just kept his mouth shut. Instead he placed the affirmative action albatross around her neck forever. He will say that he did it out of his love for black people but we all know that the only reason he did it was so that he could place his narcissistic butt in a chair behind the desk in the oval office. Knowing the right things to say doesn’t mean that he knows the right things to do.

  7. Diversity, Inequity, and Exclusion (DIE).

    There was a recent case won by people of yellow contesting race-based affirmative discrimination under DIE doctrine.


      “Distrust diversification, which usually turn out to be diworsification.”

      – Peter Lynch, One Up Wall Street, 1989


    It is impossible for the best, most qualified and accomplished candidate to exist in a significantly and quantitatively smaller pool of candidates.

    The act of nominating this black candidate for the high court is pure racism.

    This faux candidate is a false and political construct.

    This applicant is an imposter which would wither in the face of competition and intellectual combat with an actual, valid and legitimate candidate.

    Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon, not George Floyd.

    This charlatan is a “fake candidate.”

    Affirmative action has no place on the Supreme Court.

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    – Declaration of Independence, 1776

      1. My bad.

        My sincere apologies.

        I am Michael Milquetoast, a quivering mass of bleeding-heart liberalism.

        And, of course, the Constitution confers rights and freedoms on undifferentiated “people,” not the differentiated versions, causing affirmative action to be irrefutably unconstitutional.

  9. “Biden declared that he would only consider black females for the first vacancies and campaigned on that promise with African American voters. No one claimed that was offensive or wrong….”

    I consider it at offensive and wrong as if he had said he would only consider straight white Protestant males.

  10. This is getting beyond ridiculous. There should be a special task to hunt down and arrest Putin, with all of the resources, personnel, and equipment necessary to accomplish this special task. This needs to stop NOW.

  11. If I own my own body, then can I sell select cuts of my own flesh to a cannibal?

    1. Sure, and you could advertise “Liberal Oysters for Sale, I don’t use them anyway, and they even come in a sack”.

  12. No, democrats do not STEAL elections. Oh, heck no!

    “Rep. Fred Keller Will Not Seek Reelection After Pennsylvania Approves Democrat Redistricting Map”

    “Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA) announced he will not seek reelection due to the redistricting map recently approved by ‘the liberal Pennsylvania Supreme Court.'”

    – Jordan Dixon-Hamilton

    In fact, liberals have been stealing elections since 1863 when freed slaves must have been compassionately repatriated per immigration law, the Naturalization Act of 1802.

    “I’ll have those n—— voting democrat for 200 years.”

    – Lyndon Baines Johnson

  13. All the political posturing is quite frankly tedious. Geez. There are real problems in the world. Oughtn’t we face our problems with the most-qualified and wisest people available? This candidate might be one of those people, but with so much other nonsense going on it casts a cynical shadow that this isn’t really about merit.

    1. Of all the SCOTUS nominations in the last 50 years, which do you believe represented “the most-qualified and wisest people available”?

      1. I do not know all the history surrounding these nominations, but my sense is that there wasn’t as great of an ideological mindset at the nomination of Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan.

        1. Both of them were confirmed more than 50 years ago.

          Seems to me that Presidents always attempt to nominate someone whose judicial ideology is consistent with their own. But I also wasn’t asking about that. I was asking whether you’d say that any in the last 50 years were “the most-qualified and wisest people available” when they were nominated?

          1. Hard to say regarding “when they were nominated”. Between Kelo vs. New London and Citizens United, who’s left to be considered wise? Both decisions increase the power of corporations.

  14. President Joe Biden will deliver the State of the Union address tonight…

    The level of stimulants they’re going to have to pump into him, it might be his final.
    It will be like nascar, just watch it waiting for a crash.

      1. Jersey trash mouth Jill. Bringing nothing but classless corruption to the White House. Ick. Good riddance Jersey Jill.

      1. John Durham, too, is looking into Fiona Hill.

        “I have no knowledge whatsoever of how he developed that dossier. None. I just want to state that.”

        “It has been known since July 2020 that Danchenko was the primary source of spurious rumors and alcohol-lubricated gossip about Donald Trump compiled by opposition researcher and former British spy Steele. The indictment unsealed last week states that in 2010, it was “Think Tank Employee-1” — Fiona Hill — who introduced Danchenko to “U.K. Person-1”— that is, Steele. The next year Danchenko began working as a contractor for Steele’s company, Orbis, which the indictment refers to as “U.K. Investigative Firm-1”

        Hill, a longtime intelligence analyst who became a deputy assistant on the Trump administration’s National Security Council, was a key witness in the Ukraine-related impeachment of President Trump.

        As part of the impeachment proceedings, Hill gave closed-door testimony to House lawmakers and investigators for the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on Foreign Affairs. During that testimony in October 2019, Hill answered many questions emphatically and apparently without leaving herself wiggle room. Hill did not express the sort of memory fog that often afflicts well-coached, evasive witnesses. Asked whether she was “aware of any interaction between Mr. Steele and Ukrainians,” Hill did not say “to the best of my recollection” or “I don’t remember specifically,” or even a simple “no.” Instead she expanded her answer to deny not only any knowledge of Steele and Ukrainians, but to deny any knowledge of anything Steele-related: “I have no knowledge whatsoever of how he developed that dossier. None. I just want to state that.”

        Lawmakers are particularly interested in that statement. The Danchenko indictment states that Hill introduced Danchenko both to Steele and to an unnamed public relations executive, since identified as Charles Dolan Jr., a Hillary Clinton ally. Republican members of the House Permanent Select Committee are questioning whether Hill could have had “no knowledge whatsoever” of how the dossier was developed when she had a central role in connecting those key players. RealClearInvestigations was unable to reach Hill through her former attorney.

        “It’s hard to believe Fiona Hill introduced Danchenko both to Steele and to Dolan, yet had no idea of the purpose of the introductions she herself was making or what resulted from those introductions,” a source familiar with the thinking of House Republicans tells RealClearInvestigations. “So, yes, Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence are taking a look at that.”

        – The Sun Times, Fairfield

    1. Is that your directive from the DNC now?

      Don’t look at Biden and don’t look at the horrific mess he has made

      Let’s all look at Ukraine.

      1. We should focus on Ukraine. This is Biden’s war and was avoidable but for the fecklessness of Biden and his administration. If Trump were President, this war would never have happened. Biden virtually invited the Russians in much like he invited the terrorists in Afghanistan and invites the terrorism from Iran. Soon we will have another military decision to be made. Do we protect Taiwan?

  15. Jonathan: You have exhausted all the arguments against Judge Jackson’s nomination. This post and the ones before have just emboldened racists to come out from under their rocks to comment here. So let’s move on to some other news you have neglected.

    Bill Barr, your close friend and lunch companion, is back in the news hyping his new book “One Damn Thing After Another”. It’s Barr’s attempt to re-write history and rehabilitate his image. In his book Barr says the prospect of Trump running in 2024 is “dismaying”. Barr now thinks “People are worthwhile to Trump only as a means–as utensils. When they don’t help him get what he wants, they are useless”. Funny words coming from a guy who almost all his time as AG supported Trump’s authoritarian style.

    Barr auditioned for the job as Trump’s AG by writing long that presidential powers are almost unlimited and not constrained by the Constitution’s separation of powers. That appealed to Trump. Barr was Trump’s “personal attorney” and “fixer” (like Roy Cohn) turning the DOJ into Trump’s willing accomplice. He sanitized the Mueller report. He backed Trump’s claim of unlimited “executive power” to prevent Congress from getting official WH documents (that argument failed before the SC). Barr personally intervened on behalf of Trump in the Roger Stone and Michael Flynn cases–causing prosecutors to resign in disgust. Barr set aside the DOJ’s independence to further Trump’s political and personal agenda.

    Barr was in lockstep with Trump–until after the 2020 election when Trump falsely claimed it was stolen by “massive election fraud”. Despite pressure Barr’s attorneys could find no evidence to support Trump’s spurious claims so Barr was forced to tell Trump the truth–for once. He knew Trump would be outraged so Barr decided to resign rather then be fired. He negotiated his resignation so he could leave with some semblance of dignity.

    Barr thinks his book will change public perceptions about his tenure as AG. It won’t. Barr will always be remembered as the one AG who undermined the Constitution like never before–putting Trump’s agenda before the independence of the DOJ. That’s hardly a legacy he should be proud of. No doubt Barr will give you an autographed copy of his book so you can also wax eloquent about your friend’s “great contribution to the cause of justice”. That also won’t work.

    1. Jonathan: You have exhausted all the arguments against Judge Jackson’s nomination.

      When die the Prof say anything like that?

      Yet again you erect your strawman to throw punches at.
      This is about the Democrats constant racism. Deciding everything by skin color. The Prof does a good job of cataloging all the racism.

      1. Actually, GWB intended to nominate the first black woman, Janice Rogers Brown, to SCOTUS. Guess who kneecapped the nomination?:

        Brown was chosen by President Bush to be the first black woman to be nominated to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, but that was withdrawn after then Senator Joe Biden appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation to warn that if Bush nominated Brown, she would face a filibuster.


        1. GW Bush may have considered nominating Brown as a SCOTUS Justice, but he didn’t nominate her, so it’s impossible for her to have been “withdrawn” as a SCOTUS nominee.

      2. Good Catch. The two steps up imitation of Nazi socialist Natascha did a long tedious and accurate description of a racist, sexist, bigoted Bidenesque Putinesque completed with bloated nonsense.

        Works in the COLLECTIVES BUT NOT IN A Constitutional Republic. Silly would be a better word description or Pelosillyni-esque everything but the Red Flag and manifestos in pure Lenin Stalinest style matched only by the copy cat manifesto of Herr Hitler.,

  16. Oh, Turley, Turley, Turley, your backpedaling isn’t going to change the fact that what you said was taken by the disciples who post on this blog, and those who don’t, as endorsement of the notion that Jackson’s nomination was NOT based on her qualifications. Some of the dumbbells who post here claimed that her qualifications were “a vagina and black skin”, which is exactly the Fox message you helped endorse: that, basically, she was nominated because of her gender and race, and not because of her qualifications.. You can keep trying to “splain all you want, but we all know that your employment by Fox requires you to use your credentials to breathe credibility into their anti-Democrat, anti-Biden lines of attack. If what you said was only the same sort of “deliverable” commentary as happened with previous nominees, then there was no need for you to post anything at all. Your intellectual dishonesty is getting tiresome.

    1. But it’s undeniable that Biden would not have been nominated her if she did not have a vagina and black skin. Not sure if he checked the former.

  17. Using the word “deliverable” within the context of the original column is commonplace nowadays. Doesn’t look like a bit out of proportion to compile a full column just to respond to a verbal expression thrown in during a live interview covering a range of topics?

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