Nearly 50 Black female political activists participated Wednesday in a phone-banking push aimed at U.S. senators on the chamber’s Judiciary Committee to drum up support for the confirmation of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.
“Today, we are here for a National Day of Calling,” Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and the convenor of the Black Women’s Roundtable, said at The Point restaurant in southwest Washington. “We are calling in real-time to thank those senators who support Judge Jackson and to challenge those senators who oppose her. Some senators want to make this political football. They are not focusing on her but trying to make political gains during these hearings.”
Jackson on Wednesday went before the committee for a third straight day, testifying to supportive Democrats and some Republicans who have at times been condescending and rude to her. Campbell said the phone-banking efforts are taking place throughout the country and will continue until Jackson wins confirmation.
Jakota Eaddy, convenor of WIN with Black Women, said she co-sponsored and participated in the phone banking for Jackson because “she has a deep understanding of the law.”
“During these hearings, people are seeing what a brilliant jurist she is but also what a great human being also,” Eaddy said. “I have to say I don’t like the behavior of some of the senators, particularly Senator Lindsey Graham. He and I are both graduates of the University of South Carolina. I was deeply disappointed in his manner toward Judge Jackson. I hope he finds it in himself to apologize to her.”
Kendra Glover, a resident of Prince William County, Va., came to the District to participate in the phone banking. Glover, like Eaddy, was not happy with the way Jackson was treated by some members of the committee.
“I watched the hearing the first day,” Glover said. “This is a qualified person for the position but they demeaned her.”
Glover used her own cellphone to call the offices of Graham and fellow GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), John Kennedy (La.), Josh Hawley (Mo.) and Mike Lee (Utah). She said with the exception of Graham and Blackburn’s offices, she mainly got answering services.
“I did speak with staffers from Graham and Blackburn and they were friendly,” she said. “They did ask me for my cellphone number, though.”
Diane Babineaux, a resident of Bowie, Md., made calls to the same senators that Glover did.
“When I got someone on the phone, I read the script that was prepared for me and thanked them for their attention,” she said. “I came to D.C. to do this because this is a very important, historical event. We need to make sure Judge Jackson is the first Black woman on the Supreme Court.”