The Atlantic Daily: When a Confirmation Hearing Is a Chance to Settle Scores

The Senate confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson had little to do with Jackson at all, our writer argues. Then: Here’s what to read as Russia’s war on Ukraine enters a second month.

The Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson was always expected to be confirmed by a narrow Democratic majority in the Senate, barring some kind of spectacular blunder during the confirmation process. Today, those hearings concluded with no such blunder having come to pass, and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said this afternoon that he expects the Senate to confirm Jackson by April 8. But that doesn’t mean the proceedings were bereft of high drama.

This week’s events provided “a platform for senators to harp on their favorite issues, and to slap back at colleagues for past slights,” my colleague David A. Graham writes, with Jackson “relegated to bystander.” David and our contributing writer Molly Jong-Fast share their takeaways from the past few days.

  • Republican senators used the opportunity to settle scores. “Asking senators not to grandstand is, of course, like asking a river to run uphill,” David writes. “But although these moments don’t tell us much about what kind of justice Jackson might be, they are useful for showing just how angry many Republicans remain about Democrats’ treatment of [Justice Amy Coney] Barrett and Justice Brett Kavanaugh.”

  • Jackson poignantly addressed her daughters. When Jackson shared her struggles to balance career and home, Molly writes, “I realized that while America has changed since my mother’s era, our collective maternal guilt hasn’t necessarily lifted.”

Joe Biden
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What to read for the latest on Russia’s war on Ukraine:

During a trip to Europe, President Joe Biden argued for expelling Russia from the G20 group of nations. The United States also announced that it will resettle 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.

Find all of our coverage here.

Today’s dispatches:

Nicole Chung discusses the solace of writing and the joy of community with Crystal Hana Kim and R. O. Kwon in the latest edition of I Have Notes.

Tonight’s Atlantic-approved activity:

Sample the debut album from an artist our music critic Spencer Kornhaber is obsessed with: “underscores, the recording name of 21-year-old Devon Karpf, who makes intelligent, guitar-loaded electronic pop about the anxiety of being alive.”

A break from the news:
TV loves scammers lately, but a new pair of comedies follow ambitious women leaders who aren’t girlbossing their way to disaster.