GOP Sen. Ben Sasse says he won't support Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the Supreme Court because 'we disagree on judicial philosophy'
- Sen. Ben Sasse on Friday said he won't vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.
- "We both love this country, but we disagree on judicial philosophy," he said in a statement.
- Sasse, a member of the Judiciary Committee, called Jackson "an extraordinary person."
Sen. Ben Sasse on Friday said that he would not vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, citing her lack of a firm judicial philosophy.
The Nebraska Republican, who is a member of the Judiciary Committee and questioned Jackson about her legal background and cases during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings earlier this week, praised the judge's character but concluded that he would be unable to support the full nomination.
"Judge Jackson is an extraordinary person with an extraordinary American story," he said in a statement . "We both love this country, but we disagree on judicial philosophy and I am sadly unable to vote for this confirmation."
He added: "Judge Jackson has impeccable credentials and a deep knowledge of the law, but at every turn this week she not only refused to claim originalism as her judicial philosophy, she refused to claim any judicial philosophy at all. Although she explained originalism and textualism in some detail to the committee, Judge Jackson refused to embrace them or any other precise system of limits on the judicial role."
Sasse then pointed out that much of what occurred during the hearings was not helpful to the overall process, but signaled that Jackson would have the votes to join the high court.
"Like so much of our public square, the Supreme Court confirmation process is broken and doesn't build trust in either the Senate or the Supreme Court," he said. "Senators should have made fewer speeches, and Judge Jackson should have made her judicial philosophy clear and understandable to the American people. Unfortunately, neither of those things happened."
He concluded: "I am grateful for Judge Jackson's service and wish her and her family the best as she takes her seat on the Court, but I am unable to consent to the nomination."
Jackson, who was confirmed as a judge on the Washington, DC federal appeals court last year, was nominated to the high court in February after Justice Stephen Breyer announced that he would step down from the Supreme Court at the end of the current term.
So far, nearly all Democrats have indicated that they will support Jackson, and with 50 votes, they can confirm her with the tiebreaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris if no GOP support materializes. In recent days, Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana, key Democratic moderates, declared their support for Jackson.
So far, no Republican has indicated that they will support Jackson's nomination, but President Joe Biden and former Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama — who is serving as Jackson's "sherpa" through the Senate proceedings — are optimistic that the judge will receive a bipartisan vote. Two of the most likely GOP votes for Jackson may come from Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who supported the judge's 2021 confirmation to the DC federal appeals court.
However, Jackson's support will likely not come from most Republicans on the Judiciary Committee panel, which include Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, among others, who asked pointed questions regarding her handling of sex-related cases, critical race theory, and her overall judicial philosophy.
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, still livid over the 2018 hearings of now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh, repeatedly cut off Brown during his questioning, while criticizing her sentencing in several sex-related cases. He was the third Republican senator who backed Jackson's confirmation to the DC appeals court last year.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — who in 2016 blocked now-Attorney General Merrick Garland's nomination to the high court by President Barack Obama — on Thursday stated that he could not back Jackson's nomination "after studying the nominee's record and watching her performance."
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said that he was "disappointed but not surprised" by McConnell's opposition.
Jackson's nomination will have to get through the full Judiciary Committee — which is split evenly among Democrats and Republicans. A tie vote would add another procedural hurdle for the nomination when it reaches the Senate floor.Read the original article on Business Insider