One of America's foremost Constitutional law experts praised new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on MSNBC on Wednesday evening for her powerful opening performance on the United States Supreme Court.
On "The Last Word," Lawrence O'Donnell interviewed Harvard Law's Laurence Tribe, who taught constitutional law for half a century and has argued dozens of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
O'Donnell asked Tribe about his impressions of Jackson's debut.
"Well, I was frankly really thrilled," Tribe replied. "I wasn't surprised because I've known her for years and thought she was really brilliant and articulate and historically sophisticated."
"But she used the opportunity of the oral arguments to conduct what is really a master class in the original meaning of the 14th Amendment," he explained. "You could just see her addressing the conservatives on the courts. You want originalism, she read them the original history."
"The 14th Amendment was not passed in order to make the Constitution color blind, but to provide a basis for legislative action that would take race into account in order to undo the lingering affects of slavery and racism," Tribe explained.
"She went to the absolute heart of the case," Tribe said. "And the way that or these oral arguments are conducted, in a modern court, the justices are really talking not so much to the lawyers, but to one another. She staked out her position, made it very powerful, and it's going to make it much harder for the court to do what I think is unfortunately predetermined to do and that is to still cut down even further the effective use of the voting rights act to undo racial gerrymandering."
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