If there’s a secret competition between Republican Senators to see who can be the most offensive and show the most bigotry in Ketanji Brown Jackson’s SCOTUS confirmation hearings, Senator John Cornyn scored points on Tuesday, trying to corner her on a (non-judicial) issue of race and on the rights of LGBT people to access the same marriage benefits as cis-het couples.
In the first of two clips below, you can see Cornyn quizzing Jackson on how she felt about Justice Clarence Thomas’ nomination to the Supreme Court three decades ago, when she’d have been about 20 years old. Jackson explains that she doesn’t have a very specific memory of that point in time, but believes that she did recognize it as an historic event at the time.
Unable to score a win on that point, he moves on to a Supreme Court ruling from 2015, that some right-wing extremists can’t seem to get over: Obergefell v Hodges.
Cornyn seems to have an issue with SCOTUS's 2015 ruling that same-sex couples have a right to marry pic.twitter.com/zVTFJBquj7
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 22, 2022
Judge Jackson refuses to dig into details, since there are active litigations on the matter in progress, but pressed to explain how the Supreme Court can affirm a fundamental right and prevent states from passing laws that violate that right, “particularly in an area where people have sincerely held religious beliefs.”
“Well, Senator,” Jackson explains, “That is the nature of a right, that when there is a right, it means that there are limitations on regulation, even if people are regulating pursuant to their sincerely-held religious beliefs.”
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com