WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Republican opposition to President Biden’s recent Supreme Court nominee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, has been strong throughout the first week of her confirmation hearings. But at today’s installment, during an exchange between Judge Jackson and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the Zodiac Killer did something hardly anyone thought possible: he made a good point. When Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) gave the floor to Cruz for what seemed like the hundredth time in four days, he simply asked the nominee before the committee one thing.
“Thank you for being here again today, Judge Jackson,” began Cruz, seemingly out of valid opposition to Judge Jackson’s appointment to the Supreme Court. “We’ve had our differences so far at these hearings. I believe that Critical Race Theory is being taught in K-12 education but can’t define what that is beyond a series of buzzwords to make my constituents angry, and you… are a rational human being. But I just have one question, Judge. Can you spell ICUP for us?”
“Senator…” began Judge Jackson before Cruz began talking again. “It’s a simple question, Judge. Spell ICUP.” Twenty awkward seconds of silence passed before everyone in the chamber realized that Ketanji Brown Jackson was stumped. “Senator, again, I don’t see how that’s related to a judge’s work–” she began, but Cruz interrupted her. “Judge, it’s a simple question. One word. Four letters. Spell ICUP.”
“I…” she began, leading Cruz to lean forward in his chair. “I don’t…” she stuttered as Cruz leaned back, realizing that she wasn’t spelling it. “I don’t see how this is relevant,” she finally said, looking at him with genuine confusion, before Cruz spoke again. “This is something all of America needs to know, Judge Jackson. All that stuff I was talking about with that antiracist baby book, and all the other stuff my colleagues have been talking about with regards to your judicial career, none of that matters to me or the American people as much as this question. I’m gonna give you one more chance, Judge. Spell ICUP.”
Upon hearing this, Judge Jackson nodded, as if acknowledging what she had to do, and slowly began saying into the microphone, “I… C… U…” before looking at Senator Cruz and saying “P.” Immediately afterward, shockwaves went through the chamber as the committee members and staffers of both parties began giving Judge Jackson a standing ovation. Amidst the clapping, Senator Cruz shouted: “I yield my time” into the microphone before standing up and clapping himself. According to a staffer for Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) we talked to, “it was the loudest applause I’d heard in that room since Brett Kavanaugh did a keg stand.”
Both Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) agreed to end the committee hearing then, and according to our inside sources, the Senate is already preparing a roll-call vote to confirm Judge Jackson. After she passed Cruz’s tough questioning, she is expected to become the first judge unanimously confirmed to the Supreme Court since Sandra Day O’Connor, more than 40 years ago.
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