After nearly 24 hours of sitting before the Senate Judiciary Committee, President Joe Biden's nominee to the Supreme Court—Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson—got a welcome break from the nonsense that partly defined the first three days.
Instead, on Thursday, the Committee heard testimony from members of the American Bar Association's standing committee on the Federal Judiciary (which gave Jackson a glowing rating), and from 10 legal experts, evenly chosen by Republican and Democratic committee members.
Among those experts was Alabama's far-right Attorney General, Steve Marshall, who urged the Committee to vote against advancing Jackson's nomination, suggesting she was soft on crime and anti-policing, despite Jackson being endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police and having multiple law enforcement family members.
“I have heard nothing this week to alleviate my fear that Judge Jackson believes a fundamental redesign is needed in our criminal justice system and she would be so included to use her position to this court to this end."
But Marshall may have discredited himself with a maddening answer to questions from Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, who asked if Marshall recognized Biden as the "the duly elected and lawfully serving president of the United States of America."
Watch Marshall's answer below.
"[Biden] is the President of this country."
Whitehouse asked the question again, only for Marshall to repeat his initial answer.
That prompted Whitehouse to ask:
"Are you answering that, omitting the language 'duly elected and lawfully serving,' purposefully?"
"I’m answering the question. He is the president of the United States."
His refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of Biden's victory, which has been verified by numerous audits, court rulings, and recounts, doesn't come as a surprise. It's a matter of public record that Marshall promoted former President Donald Trump's delusions that the 2020 election was "rigged" or "stolen" against him.
He signed on in support of far-right Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's quixotic effort to sue Pennsylvania and other swing states Trump lost in an effort to hold off the joint congressional session certifying then-President-elect Biden's victory. The suit was denied standing.
The bizarre moment generated widespread rebuke on social media.
Some felt fear of Trump was what kept Marshall from acknowledging the election's legitimacy.
The Judiciary Committee will vote on the advancement of Jackson's nomination on April 4.