Letters to the Editor: Ketanji Brown Jackson is 100% qualified, and it didn’t matter to Republicans

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, foreground, and Sen. Josh Hawley
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson listens as Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) asks a question during her Supreme Court confirmation hearing Wednesday.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: Putting aside the disrespectful and unfair treatment she received at the hands of a number of senators, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is an exceptionally qualified Supreme Court nominee.

The time to disagree with the apparent philosophical leanings of a high-court candidate is when voting for president. Provided the judicial nominee is well-qualified, has not engaged in personally questionable behavior and is in the mainstream of judicial thought and philosophy, there is little basis to object to any such candidacy.

In the case of Jackson, she has shown herself to be a patriotic American, a thoughtful thinker, an excellent jurist and extremely well qualified, as noted by the rating she received from the nonpartisan American Bar Assn. She clerked for a Supreme Court justice, worked for a well-regarded corporate law firm and served the public interest by taking on the difficult task of being a public defender. She has served with distinction as both a trial and appellate court jurist.


Those who object to her apparent philosophical leanings, all of which fall within the mainstream of legal thought, had their chance to prevent her from being on the court when electing a president. In sum, her qualifications are first tier, by any measure, and anything but respectful treatment and confirmation is unwarranted.

David A. Lash, Los Angeles

The writer is an attorney.


To the editor: As I watched Jackson’s confirmation hearings, I couldn’t help but be struck by the poor performance of Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Tom Cotton (Ark.). All asked questions and interrupted Jackson before she could answer.

Jackson repeated her answers to the same questions as patiently as one would to a senior with dementia.

And many of the questions were related to sexual issues. Graham and Cruz expressed their profound distress that Justice Brett Kavanaugh had been questioned about a sexual assault allegation. Simultaneously, they attacked Jackson for not being tough enough on a man convicted in a child pornography case.


Clearly their privilege was showing. It was truly an embarrassment.

Jackson is far more qualified than any other recent Supreme Court nominee, and she far brighter than these senators. They showed themselves unworthy to be in the room with her.

Cheryl Younger, Los Angeles


To the editor: What’s the difference between an attack and a reasonable question? Apparently if it’s a Republican question, “why has she been lenient in sentencing child porn offenders” is an attack.

Asked to define what a woman is and not being able to answer because she’s not a biologist is downright scary.

Patrick Kelley, Los Angeles


To the editor: In 1960, I entered high school. The tradition was “initiation” for freshmen, and each one of us was assigned to a senior. I was lucky because I was assigned to a nice one who asked me only to carry his books.


Other young women were not so lucky. We saw humiliations. One girl was forced to walk repeatedly with her slip around her ankles. Another had to push a penny across a walkway with her nose. Girls were targets; boys, not so much.

This experience came to mind as I watched the hazing of Jackson. I somewhat expected the grandstanding, but I was shocked that the racism and sexism were so obvious.

Jackson was asked if she believed babies were racist and was hammered on a child pornography case in a clear attempt to connect her with what Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) referred to as one of the “most heinous offenses imaginable.” She was asked to rate her faith “on a scale of 1 to 10” and to define “woman.”

Is this treatment now deemed appropriate “initiation” for Supreme Court nominees, or is it just reserved for qualified Black women?

Lynne Culp, Van Nuys


To the editor: Jackson made a grave tactical error by answering questions intelligently, patiently and with poise.


History has shown that to obtain Republican support for confirmation, a nominee must exclaim loudly and defiantly, “I like beer.”

John Weinell, San Clemente