‘Patently racist’: Tucker Carlson under fire for questioning Ketanji Brown Jackson’s LSAT scores

The Fox News host’s call for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s LSAT score is ‘patently racist,’ says one Harvard Law School graduate

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Thursday 03 March 2022 21:26 GMT
Tucker Carlson asks for Judge Jackson's LSAT scores

Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday suggested that President Biden should release the law school admissions test results for his nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer so the public can judge whether she is talented enough to serve on the highest court in the US.

While commenting on a section of Mr Biden’s Tuesday State of the Union speech touting District of Columbia Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination, Carlson remarked that her name may not be known to most Americans because she was only recently confirmed to an appellate court seat.

“That's not a name most Americans know because Ketanji Brown Jackson has been an Appellate Judge for less than a year, but Joe Biden assured us she is ‘one of our top legal minds,’" he said.

“So is Ketanji Brown Jackson -- a name that even Joe Biden has trouble pronouncing -- one of the top legal minds in the entire country? We certainly hope so … so it might be time for Joe Biden to let us know what Ketanji Brown Jackson's LSAT score was”.

The LSAT, or Law School Admission Test, is a two hour and 20 minute multiple choice exam administered by the Law School Admission Council — a nonprofit made up of more than 200 law schools in the US, Canada and Australia — that has long been a requirement for most law schools.

Judge Jackson’s alma mater, Harvard Law School, dropped the test as a requirement for entry in 2017, but according to the Internet Legal Research Group, the class admitted in 2020 had an average score of 173 out of a possible 180.

But despite Carlson’s suggestion that the jurist’s admissions exam score could shed light on her legal acumen, the test score only measures reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and verbal reasoning proficiency and is not a predictor of legal scholarship ability.

Richard Signorelli, a 1987 Harvard Law School graduate and former federal prosecutor, said Ms Jackson’s test score would “probably” be “phenomenal,” but denounced the Fox host’s demand for Ms Jackson’s LSAT score “patently racist” in a series of tweets on Wednesday.

“No one asks for it as a qualifying measure for any legal position,” he said. “How about looking at the fact that she graduated magna cum laude from Harvard [as an undergraduate], cum laude from Harvard Law — where she served as an editor with the Harvard Law Review, clerked for 3 judges at all federal levels including the Supreme Court, and has distinguished legal/judicial experience?”

Luke Zaleski, the legal affairs editor for magazine publisher Conde Nast, said Carlson’s “coded message” in asking for her LSAT score “is that she’s not qualified and because she’s a woman of colour has been given everything she in fact earned”.

“The irony of this sick message coming from the heir to a frozen fish empire is as magnificent as the ugliness and racism coded into it is malevolent,” he added.

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