It Might Be Time to Retire the Word “Qualified” In Same Sentence as a SCOTUS nominee
I caught myself using the hashtag #morethanqualified in a post regarding the recently confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was voted on this week to become the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and the first Black Woman Justice in the court’s 233 year history.
When most of the 115 justices that came before her were nominated, we got to skip the discussion of their qualifications altogether and immediately commence to issues of their past rulings, their judicial philosophy and how past proclaimations, writings or speeches might predict the way they would rule on future pivotal cases.
Such was the case with most, if not all of the male justices, barring no accusations of sexual assault or harrassment as was the case with Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
It should be presumed that the person who ultimately beat out other nominees to be selected by a sitting US President to go before the US Senate Judiciary committee then full Senate has passed a litmus test of being qualified.
There should not be any argument.
The type of person who gets in that position lived mostly a pristine life, followed the rules, stayed the course, remained the cream of the top, went to the right schools (99% Ivy), clerked for previous Justices, wrote on Law Review or were Editor-in-Chief, and for the most part wrote their path to the SCOTUS in a very very straight line.
Yet, each time a woman or a person who is from a traditionally underrepresented group is put forth, we almost obsessively discuss their qualifications to ad nauseum from the moment of their announcement to their swearing in ceremony!
And I’m not just talking about the overuse of the word “qualified’ and all of its derivatives in context of soon-to-be Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and her treatment by Senate Republicans and others.
Same is true for Justice Amy Coney Barrett who Democrats and Liberals derided over her ascent to the SCOTUS bench after only…