Senator Lindsey Grahama Republican of South Carolina, is asking a series of combative questions with the intent of using Jackson’s hearing to make a point about Democrats’ handling of past judicial appointments.
He opened with a series of personal questions about Jackson’s faith.
He asked her what faith she was. “Protestant … non-denominational,” she said, adding: “Personally, my faith is very important. But as you know, there is no religious test under article 6—”
Before she could finish her response, he dove in with another question, asking whether she could fairly judge a Catholic and asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how faithful she was and the frequency with she attended church. She said she was reluctant to respond to this line of questioning, to which Graham told her he only goes to church about three times per year.
The point of his questions, he said, was to underscore the inappropriateness of Democrats’ question about the faith of Amy Coney Barrett.
“Just imagine what would happen if people on late-night television called you an effing nut speaking in tongues because you’ve practiced the Catholic faith in a way they couldn’t relate to or found uncomfortable,” he said. “Judge Barrett, I thought, was treated very, very poorly.”
Graham also raised the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown, a Black jurist whose nomination to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit by president George Bush was filibustered by Democratic senators, including by then-Senator Joe Biden.
Speaking colorfully as he does, Graham claimed that conservative Black women faced a double standard.
“If you’re an African American conservative woman, you’re fair game to have your life turned upside down, to be filibustered no matter how qualified you are,” Graham said. “And if you express your faith as a conservative, all of a sudden you’re an effing nut.”
“We’re tired of it, and it’s not going to happen to you,” he asserted.