Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was explicitly nominated to the nation’s highest court at least in part because of her sex and skin color, is a proud proponent of the systemic racism that propelled her to nomination in the form of critical race theory. In fact, its concepts admittedly influence her decision-making.
During a lecture at the University of Michigan Law School two years ago, Jackson highlighted the work of Professor Derrick Bell, who has been called “The Godfather of Critical Race Theory” and whose 1992 book “Faces At the Bottom of the Well” rested on her parents’ coffee table “for many years.”
“I remember staring at the image on the cover when I was growing up,” Jackson said. “I found it difficult to reconcile the image of the person, who seemed to be smiling, with the depressing message that the title and subtitle conveyed.”
Bell is credited with pioneering the fringe concepts of critical race theory that have since crept into the mainstream, and which condemn racism as a dominant vice embedded in every level of every institution that therefore warrants affirmative action hires.
Another critical race activist influential in Jackson’s worldview and also featured in the speech was Bell’s wife. Dr. Janet Dewart Bell, who last year presented a slideshow comparing the United States to Nazi Germany and complained of conservatives erasing history while leftists tear down statues, was held up as a role model by the judge and potential Supreme Court justice.
“I have drawn heavily from her excellent insights,” Jackson told students of the critical race theorist.
In the same talk at the University of Michigan, Jackson held up the project’s architect Nikole Hannah-Jones on a pedestal as an “acclaimed investigative journalist,” adding “who happens to be a black woman.” The 1619 Project seeks to reframe American history as the story of a nation fundamentally built as an irredeemably racist empire with the sole purpose of oppression.
Jackson gives credibility to Jones’ thesis, disputed by the National Association of Scholars, that 1619 — when she says the first slaves were brought to the colonies — serves as a better year to mark the nation’s true founding than when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.
“It is Jones’s provocative thesis that the America that was born in 1776 was not the perfect union that it purported to be,” Jackson said, “and that it is actually only through the hard work, struggles, and sacrifices of African Americans over the past two centuries that the United States has finally become the free nation that the Framers initially touted.”
Jackson went on to read from Hannah-Jones on a podcast, emphasis hers:
[W]e are raised to think about 1776 as the beginning of our democracy. But when that ship arrived on the horizon . . . in 1619 [the] decision made by the colonists to purchase that group of 20 to 30 human beings— that was a beginning, too.
As Jackson testifies before the Senate this week, her record on sentencing for sex crimes has come under scrutiny after she built a reputation on the bench for under-sentencing child sex predators.
“In every single child porn case for which we can find records, Judge Jackson deviated from the federal sentencing guidelines in favor of child porn offenders,” wrote Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley in a Twitter thread documenting Jackson’s prior rulings.
“While at the U.S. Sentencing Commission, Judge Jackson advocated for eliminating the existing mandatory minimum sentences for child porn,” explained The Federalist’s Rachel Bovard, “suggesting that at least some people who possess child porn aren’t sexually motivated, but simply ‘in this for either the collection, or the people who are loners and find status in their participation in the community.'”
Meanwhile, records remain under seal from U.S. senators as they prepare to offer “advice and consent” to the presidential nominee. According to Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, 48,000 pages of documents from her time on the Commission are inaccessible.
Criminal justice reform in favor of weaker penalties for offenders is a primary pillar of the left-wing social justice movement. Serving in the upper echelons of the U.S. judicial system, Jackson appears on track to fulfill a legacy promoting critical race theory.