judge ketanji brown jackson, jackson senate hearing, supreme court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson makes her opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, gave her opening statement at her confirmation hearing on Monday, March 21. She currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and will face questions from the U.S. Senate committee's 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans over two days.

The proceedings are sure to be contentious, but Jackson’s opening statement showed that she has the calm demeanor and humility necessary to be appointed to the highest court in the land.

After thanking President Biden for the nomination, she showed the primacy that faith has in her life.

“And while I am on the subject of gratitude, I must also pause to reaffirm my thanks to God, for it is faith that sustains me at this moment,” she said. “Even prior to today, I can honestly say that my life had been blessed beyond measure.”


She then thanked her parents for giving her the hope that she can reach her potential, even in the face of prejudice.

“My parents taught me that, unlike the many barriers that they had had to face growing up, my path was clearer, such that if I worked hard and believed in myself, in America I could do anything or be anything I wanted to be," she said.

She also shared her judicial philosophy while ensuring that it’s secondary to the power of the Constitution.

“I decide cases from a neutral posture. I evaluate the facts, and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me, without fear or favor, consistent with my judicial oath,” she said. "I know that my role as a judge is a limited one—that the Constitution empowers me only to decide cases and controversies that are properly presented.”

Judge Jackson made it clear that she understood the importance of the past and the historical significance of her appointment.

“During this hearing, I hope that you will see how much I love our country and the Constitution, and the rights that make us free. I stand on the shoulders of many who have come before me, including Judge Constance Baker Motley, who was the first African American woman to be appointed to the federal bench and with whom I share a birthday,” she said.

“And like Judge Motley, I have dedicated my career to ensuring that the words engraved on the front of the Supreme Court building—"Equal Justice Under Law"—are a reality and not just an ideal,” she added. “Thank you for this historic chance to join the highest court, to work with brilliant colleagues, to inspire future generations, and to ensure liberty and justice for all.”

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

Keep Reading Show less
Joy

50-years ago they trade a grilled cheese for a painting. Now it's worth a small fortune.

Irene and Tony Demas regularly traded food at their restaurant in exchange for crafts. It paid off big time.

Photo by Gio Bartlett on Unsplash

Painting traded for grilled cheese worth thousands.

The grilled cheese at Irene and Tony Demas’ restaurant was truly something special. The combination of freshly baked artisan bread and 5-year-old cheddar was enough to make anyone’s mouth water, but no one was nearly as devoted to the item as the restaurant’s regular, John Kinnear.

Kinnear loved the London, Ontario restaurant's grilled cheese so much that he ordered it every single day, though he wouldn’t always pay for it in cash. The Demases were well known for bartering their food in exchange for odds and ends from local craftspeople and merchants.

“Everyone supported everyone back then,” Irene told the Guardian, saying that the couple would often trade free soup and a sandwich for fresh flowers. Two different kinds of nourishment, you might say.

And so, in the 1970s the Demases made a deal with Kinnear that he could pay them for his grilled cheese sandwiches with artwork. Being a painter himself and part of an art community, Kinnear would never run out of that currency.

Little did Kinnear—or anyone—know, eventually he would give the Demases a painting worth an entire lifetime's supply of grilled cheeses. And then some.

Keep Reading Show less

Sandy Hook school shooting survivors are growing up and telling us what they've experienced.

This story originally appeared on 12.15.21


Imagine being 6 years old, sitting in your classroom in an idyllic small town, when you start hearing gunshots. Your teacher tries to sound calm, but you hear the fear in her voice as she tells you to go hide in your cubby. She says, "be quiet as a mouse," but the sobs of your classmates ring in your ears. In four minutes, you hear more than 150 gunshots.

You're in the first grade. You wholeheartedly believe in Santa Claus and magic. You're excited about losing your front teeth. Your parents still prescreen PG-rated films so they can prepare you for things that might be scary in them.

And yet here you are, living through a horror few can fathom.

Keep Reading Show less