Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn advocated against federal marriage equality when he asked Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson to speak on whether such rulings "necessarily create a conflict."
Apparently Cornyn needed a quick lesson about the Constitution and Jackson was happy to oblige.
“Well, Senator, that is the nature of a right."
See the exchange in the video below:
Cornyn adamantly and openly denounced the 2015 Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges which legally permitted same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Acting as a conduit for those who staunchly oppose secular, legal marriage equality because of their religious beliefs, Cornyn argued the decision harmed conservative Christians' religious freedom.
To viewers, his angle was evident:
"So, John Cornyn's line of questioning for judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is to show how big of a homophobic bigot he is?"
"Sen. John Cornyn of TX blatantly showing he is against gay marriage. GOP just going wild and out with their sexist, racist, fundamentalist beliefs ..."
While another added:
"Hearing Senator Cornyn try to use this hearing as an opportunity to argue that gay couples should not have the legal right to marry is disgusting ..."
His open attack on the ruling left many worried about the future of LGBTQ+ rights.
The Republican Senator asked:
“Do you see that when the Supreme Court makes a dramatic pronouncement about the invalidity of state marriage laws that it will inevitably set in conflict between those who ascribe to the Supreme Court’s edict and those who have a firmly held religious belief that marriage is between a man and a woman?”
Unsure of where he was going with the question, Jackson responded by explaining these are hot-topic issues currently being litigated and she had no real comment on the outcomes.
Digging deeper, Cornyn responded:
“I’m not asking you to decide a case.”
Then in a long-winded, tangential follow-up he asked:
"I’m just asking, isn’t it apparent that when the Supreme Court decides that something that is not even in the Constitution is a fundamental right and no state can pass any law that conflicts with the Supreme Court’s edict, particularly in an area where people have sincerely held religious beliefs, doesn’t that necessarily create a conflict between what people may believe is a matter of their religious doctrine or faith and what the federal government says is the law of the land?”
Noting Cornyn's confusion on how rights work, Jackson explained to him:
“[W]hen there is a right, it means that there are limitations on regulation, even if people are regulating pursuant to their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Jackson's professionalism remained unwavering and viewers were impressed with how she handled the hearing.
One person tweeted:
"It's very courteous of Ketanji Brown Jackson to give Sen John Cornyn a crash course on how the law works."
Another commented Jackson had schooled Cornyn.
Another called Jackson's conduct "superhuman."
"John Cornyn with this rambling question about unenumerated rights and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is just looking at him like a kindly first grade teacher trying not to tell him he’s not making any sense."
While one person stated:
"Would confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson solely based on how she’s navigating John Cornyn’s nonsense."
Overall, viewers have been enraged with the Republican Senators pushing their own agendas during the hearing, asking leading questions to illicit a desired response.
Those watching could see through the stunts and applauded Jackson's grace.