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The P, The VP, The Associate Justice and two indelible days | ticker VIEWS



Decades from now, they will say to family and friends, “I was there that day, when the vote was taken, when Justice Jackson spoke of her life, her commitment, her gratitude and her love of America.”

As President Biden said at the White House:

“To turn to our children and grandchildren and say, I was there. I was there.  That — this is one of those moments, in my view.”


It was a great day.  It could not be ruined by the Senate Republicans filing out of their chamber, walking slowly to the eruption of cheers that seemed not to end, with only Mitt Romney of Utah, the Republican nominee for president against Barack Obama in 2012, standing at his seat and clapping at what had been achieved.

It was a moment that could not be diminished even by an iota by the words of Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who slandered Judge Jackson on the floor:

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell

“When it came to one of the most consequential decisions a president can make, a lifetime appointment to our highest court, the Biden administration let the radicals run the show. The far left got the reckless inflationary spending they wanted. The far left has gotten the insecure border they wanted. And today, the far left will get the Supreme Court justice they wanted.”

A scholar of the Senate wrote me: “McConnell is always himself. It is not enough that he shredded all norms to stack the Court. He also had to rewrite the history and trash Judge Jackson.”

It was the only way the Republicans could justify to themselves the vote they had taken and the moral standing they had lost.

President Biden understood the transcendence at work here:  

“When I made the commitment to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, I could see this day.  I literally could see this day, because I thought about it for a long, long time.  As Jill and Naomi would tell you, I wasn’t going to run again.”

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks after President Joe Biden announced Jackson as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Cross Hall of the White House, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Washington. Vice President Kamala Harris listens at right. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“But when I decided to run, this was one of the first decisions I made.  I could see it.  I could see it as a day of hope, a day of promise, a day of progress; a day when, once again, the moral arc of the universe, as Barack used to quote all the time, bends just a little more toward justice.”

And if anyone doubts how the President feels about the Vice President and whether she has his trust and support – and there has been a lot of chatter about that – this is how Biden opened his remarks about the person who successfully shepherded this nomination through the Senate :

“Thank you, Kamala.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  The first really smart decision I made in this administration.”

And he added a little later:

“And that’s why I’m proud that Kamala Harris is our Vice President of the United States.  (Applause.)  A brilliant lawyer.  The Attorney General of the State of California.  Former member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Kamala was invaluable during this entire process.” 

The VP is in with the P.

Finally there were these words from Judge Jackson:

“It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States.  But we’ve made it.   We’ve made it, all of us.  All of us.”

And then this:

“But no one does this on their own.  The path was cleared for me so that I might rise to this occasion. 

And in the poetic words of Dr. Maya Angelou, I do so now, while “bringing the gifts…my ancestors gave “I am the dream and the hope of the slave.”  

So as I take on this new role, I strongly believe that this is a moment in which all Americans can take great pride.

We have come a long way toward perfecting our union.

In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.”

These days are now indelible.

And her journey is not over. 

It may be, years from now, that a future President will seek to appoint Associate Justice Jackson to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  The dream and the hope are alive.

Bruce Wolpe is a Ticker News US political contributor. He’s a Senior Fellow at the US Studies Centre and has worked with Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama's first term, and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former PM's chief of staff.

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