President Joe Biden took a shot at Republican senators on Friday, saying their "vile" conduct during Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court confirmation hearings had been reprehensible.
While attending the celebration on the South Lawn of the White House, honoring Justice Jackson for being confirmed to the Supreme Court the previous day by a 53-47 Senate vote, Biden scolded Republicans for their line of questioning toward Jackson — the first African-American woman in U.S. history to join the Supreme Court.
"I knew [the nomination process] wouldn't be easy, but I knew the person I nominated would be put through a painful and difficult confirmation process," said Biden. "But I have to tell you, what Judge Jackson was put through was well beyond that. There was verbal abuse, the anger, the constant interruptions, the most vile, baseless assertions and accusations."
The president then added: "In the face of it all, Judge Jackson showed the incredible character and integrity she possesses."
Biden's condemnation of Republicans comes on the heels of now-Justice Jackson being asked to defend her previous record with sentencing convicted pedophiles, along with being asked to define a "woman" — which might have seemed like a softball-like question a few years ago.
For that particular "woman" question, Jackson replied, "No, I can't ... I'm not a biologist."
Jackson, 51, previously a federal appellate judge, will be replacing outgoing Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, who had been confirmed during Bill Clinton's presidency in 1994.
However, to reach the confirmation stage, Jackson had to withstand the Republicans' questions on various issues.
"We're going to look back and see this is a moment of real change in American history," Biden said.
Biden also acknowledged the three Republican senators who crossed the proverbial aisle to vote with Democrats: Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah.
"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," gushed Jackson. "But we've made it. We've made it ... all of us, all of us.
"And our children are telling me that they see now more than ever that here in America, anything is possible."
Jackson becomes the third active Supreme Court justice nominated by a Democrat president, along with Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
The six justices nominated by a Republican president are Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.
Friday's outdoor ceremony might have been used as an increased safety measure, in the wake of other prominent politicians — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the aforementioned Collins — testing positive for the coronavirus over the last few days.
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