Ruhle: Hawley Questioning Jackson’s Judicial Record is ‘Dangerous’

During a segment on the first day of congressional hearings on the nomination for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, MSNBC’s The 11th Hour host Stephanie Ruhle was clearly frustrated by Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) broadcasting his questions Jackson regarding her history of giving those convicted of viewing or distributing child porn light sentences.  

Ruhle started by airing a soundbite of Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy criticizing Hawley for bringing up Jackson’s record. She then bemoaned the fact that “Josh Hawley is not backing down” and “what he is doing is dangerous, it is character assassination of a woman who is going to be confirmed.” She then asked her guest NYU Law School professor Melissa Murray what’s her “take on what he’s doing”? 

Murray retorted: “my take on this is that it’s not actually about Ketanji Brown Jackson. She is, as you say, a foregone conclusion a fait accompli. She will sit on the Supreme Court, and Josh Hawley knows that.” She then surmised that Hawley is simply using the confirmation hearings for political gain. “What this is, is about 2022, and the midterm elections, and 2024. I think we saw all the Republicans fall in line on this” Murray said. 

Murray continued spouting her theory that this is all one big political game by Hawley: 

They’re simply making soundbites that are going to be used in the 2022 midterms, and again in 2024 in the presidential election, to basically make the argument that the Republican Party is the party that is hard on crime. That is tough on crime. And the Democrats are soft on crime. She is merely a pawn in, a political action, that’s going to be laid out over the next couple of months, and indeed, the next couple of years.

Ruhle then asked Murray about Jackson’s qualifications compared to the federal judges former President Trump appointed. “[Trump] nominated roughly a dozen judges, that the American Bar Association rated not qualified. Now, according to that very same American Bar Association, Judge Ketanji Jackson has the highest possible rating.”  

Murray then proceeded to gush about how “absolutely superlative” Jackson is and how Republicans couldn’t possibly oppose her based on merit. She claimed she “wouldn’t know what to say to explain their objections to a nominee, who is absolutely superlative credentials, and qualifications, for this role. She’s truly made for this moment. I think they know that. And the objections that we’re going to hear in the last couple of days, I think will truly be manufactured.”  

Murray ended her sycophantic commentary by proclaiming, without evidence, that Republican objections to Jackson’s nomination are “not about her, it’s about this larger, political fight, and I think, the less we play into their narrative, the better it will be.” 

This biased segment was made possible by Fisher Investments, Infiniti, and Safelite. Their information is linked so you can let them know about the biased news they fund. 

To read the relevant transcript of this segment click “expand”: 

MSNBC’s The 11th Hour
3/21/2022
11:26:01 p.m. Eastern 

STEPHANIE RUHLE: But here’s the thing, Josh Hawley is not backing down. What he is doing is dangerous, it is character assassination of a woman who is going to be confirmed. So what is your take on what he’s doing? 

MELISSA MURRAY: My take on this is that it’s not actually about Ketanji Brown Jackson. She is, as you say, a foregone conclusion a fait accompli. She will sit on the Supreme Court, and Josh Hawley knows that. What this is, is about 2022, and the midterm elections, and 2024. I think we saw all the Republicans fall in line on this. Staking out particular claims that she was a woman who is soft on crime, that Democrats are soft on crime, that the Biden administration is soft on crime, and they’re laying a foundation for talking points, that can’t be easily refuted without getting into the nitty-gritty of her record and the cases and what has been going on at the granular level, in these localities. They’re simply making soundbites that are going to be used in the 2022 midterms, and again in 2024 in the presidential election, to basically make the argument that the Republican Party is the party that is hard on crime. That is tough on crime. And the Democrats are soft on crime. She is merely a pawn in, a political action, that’s going to be laid out over the next couple of months, and indeed, the next couple of years.

RUHLE: Okay. The former President, current Florida resident, he nominated roughly a dozen judges, that the American Bar Association rated not qualified. Now, according to that very same American Bar Association, Judge Ketanji Jackson has the highest possible rating. So, help me understand, what measure could the Republicans possibly be using, that they are perfectly happy with Trump appointees, but not with this Biden pick?

MURRAY: Well, I wouldn’t know what to say to explain their objections to a nominee, who is absolutely superlative credentials, and qualifications, for this role. She’s truly a made for this moment. I think they know that. And the objections that we’re going to hear in the last couple of days, I think will truly be manufactured. They will be thin but are designed, again, to be less about this confirmation. Which is again, a foregone conclusion, and more about laying a foundation for the political battles that are yet to come. She’s merely an opportunity to make these arguments about Democrats being soft on crime, about Democrats manufacturing constitutional rights, and being soft on the constitution. It’s not about her, it’s about this larger, political fight, and I think, the less we play into their narrative, the better it will be. Because, it’s not about her, it’s never been about her. Because she is absolutely superlative.

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