A Bit Much? ABC Compares ‘Brilliant’ Ketanji Brown Jackson to Harriet Tubman


ABC and NBC brought in special reports for Thursday’s historic swearing-in of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to achieve the highest court. But the Disney-owned network went beyond predictable praises and into extremes when Terry Moran, longtime Supreme Court reporter said Jackson would be on board the same plane with iconic Americans Harriet Tubman (abolitionist) and Sojourner Truth.


Whit Johnson, fill-in anchor for Moran, said that although “[t]he ideological balance remains the same” on the Court, Jackson’s arrival represented so much more as “watching that ceremony, it’s so moving and so extraordinary and so overdue.”

Moran correctly noted that Black women have been excluded from power positions for too long. She gushed about Jackson’s inclusion in the list of famous Black women.



Black American women have — have built this country…in the face of so much opposition and struggle. And we all know them, we grow up learning the names of Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth and Marianne Anderson, and Barbara Jordan, and so many, and here’s Ketanji Brown Jackson, now stepping forward in that line, onto the Supreme Court of the United States, representing not just those, but the countless others who did help build our country.



Moran said that Moran brings with her “so much more than her identity,”Included “a brilliant legal mind and…an experience to the Court that it really needs”A former public defender “a working mother.”


Terry forgot to mention that Justice Amy Coney Barrett was a mother working on the Court for two years.


Although Jackson was not quite as outrageous, Moran did have plenty of support in promoting her. Linsey, a correspondent, stated that Jackson is her. “really the embodiment of progress” and thus there’s “so much excitement about the — the weight of this moment, the monumental moment, the magnitude of it all that.”


After the swearing-in, Davis harkened back to her confirmation hearings and how, while in undergrad at Harvard, Jackson was unsure if she belonged there as a Black woman but nonetheless “perserve[d] and look at the fruit of that.”




ABC News legal reporter Kate Shaw focused her attention on the ideological breakdown. Shaw warned Jackson that he would join. “pretty aggressive” “very bold” “sharply…conservative supermajority,”So “be on dissent…in a lot of cases.” 


Peter Alexander, the White House chief correspondent on NBC, reminisced at her confirmation hearings in a lament. “really did get a — a front row seat to the deeply divided country we now live during her confirmation process where she was repeatedly attacked — and repeatedly attacked by Republican members of the Judiciary Committee who alleged that she was soft on crime.”


Always ready, able, and willing to peddle liberal propaganda, Washington correspondent Yamiche Alcindor touted messages from her friends that, of course, were happy for her (click “expand”):



I want to also tell you that I’ve been texting with some of her friends — some of her closest friends who have been with her since her days at Harvard university. Here’s what Judge Njeri Rutledge told me, “I’m filled with joy and hope despite” what she called “a disappointing supreme court decision that turns back 50 years of precedent. I am filled with pride that history is being made.” Another one of her friends, Antoinette Coakley, told me and she’s someone who was at the White House and who the judge actually called out by name as someone who supported her. She said: “We are honored here to stand in support of her. Today is a day of celebration, of jubilee, of a dream realized.”


One other friend Kimberly Jenkins Robinson — she said to me: “Despite the challenging times we are living in, the world,” as she said, “is a bit brighter as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes a justice. Our judiciary and nation will be strengthened by her wisdom, integrity and dedication. My heart is filled with joy for her and her family.” So, there you have it, some of her closest friends reflecting on how happy they are for her, how excited they are for her, but also really nodding to the history that we were talking about, Lester, talking about the fact that they understand that their friend is taking this seat during a really, really fraught time in our nation’s history. 



Rounding out the NBC Special Report, far-left legal analyst Neal Katyal made an appearance to not so much praise Jackson (which he did), but trash the six non-liberal justices as “acting like true law professors just writing things out and imposing their will on the nation” in the “most extreme way” imaginable.


Thus, he argued, Jackson will have  a chance “to try and lead the Court out of this mess” and “moderate the extremist tendencies of this court.”


There were not advertisers because this was a network-specific report.


To see the relevant transcripts from June 30, click “expand.”



ABC News Special Report
June 30, 2022
Eastern 12:04 pm


LINSEY DAVIS – We’re looking for someone who truly represents progress. Since centuries, justices in this country have not looked and behaved like this nation’s general population. It is something she talks about repeatedly, and how they have gone from segregation in one generation to the Supreme Court. She mentioned many times how faith has helped her get this far. After her confirmation, she mentioned that she was the hope and dream for the slave. And so, there is so much excitement about the — the weight of this moment, the monumental moment, the magnitude of it all that — that we are all going to watch in just a few moments as she goes from judge, as you said, to Justice Jackson.


(….)


Eastern, 12:09 PM


DAVIS This is a moment when we see someone with a completely different perspective and who adds incredibly unique experiences to our world. Today I was reminded of her testimony at the nomination hearing, in which she described being a Harvard freshman student, and wondering if it is the right environment. I feel like an imposter. What can I do? She said to the anonymous black woman that she had spoken of, that it was just a whisper that told her to persevere. You can see the fruits of this. Here she is, having persevered. She has persevered, not only for herself, but also for all young girls of different races today who see the possibilities and are willing to do whatever it takes. And she talked about the magnitude of this moment in — with The Washington Post. She said, “you feel the weight of wanting to succeed, not just for your own independent status, but because so many people are watching and view this as a door opening for others.” And a door it is. You see, 50 years ago in 1972, the court was all male. Whit said that there are now four women who serve on the court at the same moment. The 116th member of the Court, for the first time, a black woman in the Court’s 233 year history. 


WHIT JOHNSON : This historic moment is for millions of Americans, who have never had this type of representation. Linsey: Thank you. Terry Moran is our top national correspondent. As we noted earlier, although the dynamics may shift at the court, the ideological balance is the same. 


TERRY MORAN It is said that each new justice equals a new court due to the individual dynamics. And watching that ceremony, it’s so moving and so extraordinary and so overdue. It’s 2022. Black American women have — have built this country from the earliest times in the face of so much opposition and struggle. And we all know them, we grow up learning the names of Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth and Marianne Anderson, and Barbara Jordan, and so many, and here’s Ketanji Brown Jackson, now stepping forward in that line, onto the Supreme Court of the United States, representing not just those, but the countless others who did help build our country. Whit is more than just her name. Her legal knowledge is also a great asset. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Court. She served as public defender. You can imagine who the public defenders are in this country. They were represented by her in American courts. This is what the Court does not have. She is also a mother who works. I can recall her speaking to her daughters during the confirmation hearings. She said, “I know that I didn’t always balance the right amount, but I loved you.” I also remember her saying, “I love you. And I try my best to make sure you see the hard work and dedication pays off. It is an extraordinary moment in American history. Long overdue. It will not alter the Court’s ideological balance, but the Court will be impacted by a new justice.


(….)


Eastern 12:13


KATE SHAW – But it’s true that the conservative balance of court is still very strong. This supermajority of conservatives is very aggressive and bold. They have changed the laws regarding firearms, abortion and environmental regulations, as well as the law on religion. She is going to be on the dissent in many cases, I believe.


(….)


Eastern 12:14


DAVIS You know what? It is worth repeating. But this is the first time a black woman was ever even nominated — ever even given the opportunity to sit at the table. Many people celebrate this, while feeling disappointed. Like, why is — why are we just now having the first? But it’s certainly to be commended today that it’s finally happened.


——–


NBC News Special Report
June 30, 2022
Eastern Time: 12:11


PETER ALEXANDER: And Ketanji Brown Jackson really did get a — a front row seat to the deeply divided country we now live during her confirmation process where she was repeatedly attacked — and repeatedly attacked by Republican members of the Judiciary Committee who alleged that she was soft on crime. However, she got the votes from the Democratic Congress and is now a justice. She will begin a new term which’s likely be lasting decades.


(….)


Eastern 12:13


YAMICHE ALCINDOR: I want to also tell you that I’ve been texting with some of her friends — some of her closest friends who have been with her since her days at Harvard university. Here’s what Judge Njeri Rutledge told me, “I’m filled with joy and hope despite” what she called “a disappointing supreme court decision that turns back 50 years of precedent. I am filled with pride that history is being made.” Another one of her friends, Antoinette Coakley, told me and she’s someone who was at the White House and who the judge actually called out by name as someone who supported her. She said: “We are honored here to stand in support of her. Today is a day of celebration, of jubilee, of a dream realized.” One other friend Kimberly Jenkins Robinson — she said to me: “Despite the challenging times we are living in, the world,” as she said, “is a bit brighter as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson becomes a justice. Our judiciary and nation will be strengthened by her wisdom, integrity and dedication. My heart is filled with joy for her and her family.” So, there you have it, some of her closest friends reflecting on how happy they are for her, how excited they are for her, but also really nodding to the history that we were talking about, Lester, talking about the fact that they understand that their friend is taking this seat during a really, really fraught time in our nation’s history. 


(….)


Eastern 12:14


NEAL KATYAL : The court is saddened by Judge Breyer’s resignation. He’s obviously being replaced by someone’s amazing, but this is a guy who had so much humility and tried to bring the court together wherever he could. While he was a professor of law, the extremists who make up the court have behaved like real law professors by writing out laws and then imposing their will upon the country. This kind of change at the Supreme Court is coming at an extremely difficult time. We’ve had a week at the Supreme Court that is unlike any week that the Supreme Court’s had or any term since at least 1935. The Supreme Court is this conservative. Not just in abortion but also on guns and on climate. Justice Jackson will lead us out of this mess. This group of justices has been acting in some of the most conservative and extreme ways that we’ve ever witnessed in our lives.


(….)


Eastern, 12:16


KATYAL: I also think if this term is any indication, the conservatives on the court are not as engage — are not as interested in engaging with their colleagues. They are the majority, and using that power in extremely extreme ways. This is why Justice Jackson, who is trying to manage the court’s extremist tendencies, has been able to pull it off. However, this can be a difficult task.