Speed Reads

giving credit

Dick Durbin thanks Ben Sasse for 'jackassery' remarks: 'There was great truth in what he said'

Thursday marks the fourth day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson — following one long day of opening remarks and two tense days of questioning — and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) opted to kick off the round of witness testimony with a few accolades.

First, Durbin recognized Ranking Member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) as a "gentleman" with such a "high degree of integrity." He said he is a "lucky man" to get to work with the Iowa lawmaker throughout this process.

Durbin also thanked a "majority" of Republicans, the ones who handled themselves "professionally" and "in the best traditions of the United States Senate" — specifically mentioning Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who on Wednesday called out some of the behavior of his colleagues as nothing more than performative "jackassery" for the cameras. 

"I want to thank [Sasse] particularly, for a comment he made which has been quoted widely, in which he used the term 'jackassery,' which I had never heard before," Durbin said. "I thank him for that observation because I think there was great truth in what he said."

And for Democrats, the committee chair also gave a pat on the back to Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), who spent his time the day prior heralding Jackson with a pep talk that moved the nominee to tears.

"[I am] particularly proud of one member who spoke at the right moment," Durbin said. "My wife is my go-to critic in what's happening in my political life and on this committee. And she said, 'When Cory Booker spoke yesterday, it cleared the air finally.'"

"His statement will go down in the annals of this committee and the United States Senate for the impact that [it] had at the moment," he added.

Watch Booker's remarks below.