If there’s one man I would never want to go up against in a debate, it’s Senator John Kennedy. He’s brilliant at throwing up a few initial softball questions that lead you to believe you got this, only to annihilate you during closing arguments. He knows exactly how you’re going to answer, setting traps along the way, and when he goes in for the kill, there’s no surviving it. You already lost before he asked his first question because he knows the enemy so well.
During Tuesday’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing which went on into the early hours of the evening, Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) raised a simple question about when protection for life begins.
“When does life begin, in your opinion,” Senator Kennedy asked Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for starters.
“Senator… um… I don’t… know,” Judge Jackson replied, followed by an uneasy, awkward laugh.
“Do you have a belief?” Kennedy pressed.
“I have, um, personal religious and otherwise beliefs that have nothing to do with the law in terms of when life begins,” Jackson responded.
“Do you have a personal belief though about when life begins?” Kennedy probed.
“I have a religious view that I set aside when I am ruling on cases,” Jackson evaded again.
Senator Kennedy pushed further on the point, asking Judge Jackson an important follow-up, “When does equal protection of the laws attach to a human being?”
BOOM!! You could imagine the look on Jackson’s face as she was completely stumped!
“Well Senator, um… I believe that the Supreme Court… um… actually I, I actually don’t know the answer to that question — I’m sorry — I don’t,” Judge Jackson responded, again with an ill-timed grin on her face as her initially confident answer turned to another know-nothing response.
Once again, Senator Kennedy knew exactly where the conversation was going to go, and Jackson walked right into his trap. How she failed to prepare for this very predictable question is beyond me, and Judge Jackson’s “prep coach” — former Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) who should have prepared her for this extremely important question might want to start looking for a new job.