Speed Reads

'the weight of history'

Ketanji Brown Jackson gets advice from Harriet Tubman in new SNL cold open

Saturday Night Live celebrated the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in its newest cold open.

The scene began with Jackson (Ego Nwodim) and President Biden (James Austin Johnson) standing in the Oval Office ahead of Friday's reception for the new justice, who was confirmed Thursday in a 53-47 vote.

"Your speech was terrific Ketanji," Johnson-as-Biden said, stumbling over her name. "Sorry. I mean, Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson."

"Bet you can't say that three times fast," Nwodim-as-Jackson quipped.

"I'm shocked I was able to say it one time slow," Johnson-as-Biden said, adding that he had fulfilled his campaign promise to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court, which means "one campaign promise down and only 74 to go."

"Well, I was happy to do my part," Nwodim-as-Jackson said. "Work twice as hard as a white man my entire life, and then spend a week listening to Ted Cruz call me a pedophile."

Biden then left Jackson alone in the Oval Office, advising her to "feel the weight of history" and "imagine talking to all the great Americans who came before."

Left to her reveries, Jackson conjured up visions of Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg (Kate McKinnon) and Thurgood Marshall (Kenan Thompson), baseball star Jackie Robinson (Chris Redd), and anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman (Punkie Johnson).

"What're we doing in the White House? Did we get in trouble?" the abolitionist asked. Nwodim's Jackson explained that, thanks to the bravery of women like Tubman, she was now a Supreme Court justice.

"I like that," said Tubman.

"I have a seat at the table," added Jackson.

"I like that," said Tubman.

"And I'm going to have this job for the rest of my life!" the new justice concluded.

"Don't like that. Sounds like a trap," said Tubman, adding that Jackson should "light two candles and meet me in the farmhouse at midnight" if she wants out.