News and Analysis

‘Many Of Us Were Ugly-Crying On The White House South Lawn’: Psaki Says Jackson Confirmation Was An ‘Emotional Day’
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki talks to reporters during the daily news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on April 08, 2022 in Washington, DC. Psaki fielded questions about the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, the ongoing U.S. support for the people of Ukraine after the Russian invasion and other topics. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Sunday that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court had evoked an emotional response from many within President Joe Biden’s administration.

Psaki joined anchor Dana Perino — who also once served as a White House press secretary under former President George W. Bush — on “Fox News Sunday” to discuss the news of the past week, and Perino made a point to highlight Jackson’s successful confirmation in the Senate.

“I worked on two Supreme Court nominations myself,” Perino began. “I know they are very rewarding, especially when they result in a way that this one did.”

“This was a significant accomplishment for President Biden. Ketanji Brown Jackson is now going to be a Supreme Court Justice. Take a listen to one of the segments of her speech that was very touching.”

“In the poetic words of Dr. Maya Angelou, ‘I do so now while bringing the gifts my ancestors gave. I am the dream and the hope of the slave,'” Jackson said, to cheers and applause from the audience.

“Can you give us any, peel back the curtain, what was it like with her and President Biden behind the scenes?” Perino asked.

“It was — as you know, Dana, him from working on these in the past, it was a very emotional day in the White House, a joyful day, and there are so many days in the White House — no matter who you work for that are exhausting and heartbreaking and challenging because there aren’t easy answers to hard problems sometimes — but this was an incredibly joyful day, a day we celebrated, a day many of us were ugly crying on the White House South Lawn, just celebrating this remarkable woman who is making history but she is also so qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, so it was really a day I will remember for a long time to come,” Psaki replied.

“And she will take over after Breyer finishes up this summer,” Perino concluded. “Jen, thank you, thank you for the time this morning.”

Jackson was confirmed on Thursday in a 53-47 vote. Three Republican Senators — Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) voted in her favor along with all 50 Democratic Senators.

A number of the Republicans who voted against Jackson’s confirmation — including Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) raised questions during the process about her record — specifically an apparent pattern of imposing lighter-than-recommended sentences in cases involving child pornography.