Monday was a historic day in the United States Senate, as the Senate Judiciary Committee began hearings to consider President Joe Biden's nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson—the first Black woman nominated to the United States Supreme Court.
The opening day of the hearings mostly featured general remarks from committee members on both sides of the aisle, as well as a brief opening statement from Judge Jackson at the conclusion of the hearings' first day.
Among those delivering remarks was far-right Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who used the moment to smear "progressivism" with a laundry list of conservative grievances like transgender rights and, of course, critical race theory.
An advanced academic framework, critical race theory examines racism in the United States through the lens of how the effects of overtly racist policies of the past remain embedded in American society today, creating or exacerbating racial inequalities across economic, political, social, and educational sectors.
Republicans have slammed the theory as "racist" and unpatriotic, claiming that it's taught in secondary schools across the United States in an effort to sow resentment against white people.
Blackburn invoked these same bogeymen in her remarks to Judge Jackson.
"You have praised the 1619 Project, which argues the U.S. is a fundamentally racist country, and you have made clear that you believe judges must consider critical race theory when deciding how to sentence criminal defendants. Is it your personal hidden agenda to incorporate critical race theory into our legal system? These are answers that the American people need to know."
It won't be until later this week that Jackson gets the chance to respond to Blackburn's suggestions.
Social media users slammed Blackburn's accusation that the first Black woman Supreme Court nominee had a "hidden agenda" to promote a well-known and widely utilized academic lens.
Some began speculating on the "personal hidden agenda" of Blackburn and the GOP.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will reconvene tomorrow as Jackson's confirmation hearings continue.