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Ted Cruz Called Bushrod Washington "Uncontroversial" Court Nominee. His Slaves Probably weren't Asked

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tags: Ted Cruz, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Bushrod Washington



Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee began Monday, though the public hardly heard from her, as senators from both sides of the aisle used their time to make partisan speeches, vaguely addressing Jackson instead of asking her questions.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) began his speech with an attempt to give Jackson, who if confirmed would be the first Black woman on the court, a history lesson.

“Supreme Court confirmations weren’t always controversial,” Cruz said. “In fact, Bushrod Washington, when nominated to the Supreme Court in 1798, was confirmed the very next day.”

It is true that Bushrod Washington — a favorite nephew of George Washington who had never served as a judge before — was officially nominated to the Supreme Court on Dec. 19, 1798, and confirmed the next day by voice vote in the Senate. However, he had already been serving on the court since Nov. 9 via recess appointment from President John Adams. (Ten justices have been recess appointed, the last coming during the Eisenhower administration.)

It is also true that Washington was an enslaver. If Cruz was merely looking for an example of a nominee who was quickly confirmed, there have been about 10 nominees confirmed the same day they were nominated and at least another dozen confirmed in only one day, just like Washington, according to Senate records. Washington was neither the first nor the last to be confirmed that quickly.

Read entire article at Washington Post

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