How to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson By Ken Masugi for American Greatness
GNN Note – She’s an activist dressed in a black robe. / END
Her race is irrelevant. Her membership in the administrative state elite is all-important.
I don’t understand you,” thought a young Ketanji Brown, as she lunched with Justice Clarence Thomas some 20 years ago. “You sound like my parents. You sound like the people I grew up with.” “But,” Brown noted, “the lessons he tended to draw from the experiences of the segregated South seemed to be different than those of everybody I know.”
Some pundits made this insight the basis of their hope that a Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson might change Clarence Thomas’ judicial reasoning. Since the nation’s corporate media elite regard Thomas’ views as a product of his colleague the late Antonin Scalia or his conservative activist wife, why shouldn’t a junior colleague reprogram him?
But the nominee for the Supreme Court seat to be vacated by Stephen Breyer, the justice she was clerking for at the time of that luncheon, never actually spoke these words. They are an invention of Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher’s 2007 biography of Thomas, Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas. For all I know, it’s possible that Jackson’s account was distorted, abridged, or completely fabricated. I base this conclusion on my own experience with Merida, who began an interview with me for that book. When I saw the direction he was taking, I ceased speaking with him. He seemed set upon proving his preconceived, dubious thesis about Thomas.
So it’s possible that young Ketanji Brown was used in a preposterous polemic. But if it’s true she thought Justice Thomas’ experience in Pin Point, Georgia, compared with that of her parents, I question what she knows about life in the racially segregated South. Can she be really that stupid or sheltered? A profile of her remarkable Miami public high school reveals alumni such as Jeff Bezos and numerous attorneys, and five classmates who attended Harvard. Did she go on to ask Justice Thomas why his conclusions differed so much from those of her family and acquaintances? At any rate, a clerk should not relate stories about any of the justices. That much she should have known.