Mitch McConnell confirms he’s a ‘no’ vote on Ketanji Jackson confirmation
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed Thursday that he won’t support Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court — setting up what’s likely to be a party-line vote. McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor, “I enjoyed meeting the nominee and went into this process with an open mind. But after studying the nominee’s record and watching her performance this week, I cannot and will not support Judge Jackson for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.” The Republican leader was not expected to support Jackson and Democrats can approve her nomination without any GOP support in the evenly divided Senate, where Vice President Kamala Harris breaks tie votes. Jackson was confirmed as a DC Circuit appeals judge last year with three Republican votes, and a number of other Republican senators praised her performance at Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings this week. McConnell said that he was particularly upset about Jackson declining to condemn a Democratic push to “pack” the Supreme Court by adding new members and said that he was unsatisfied by her record of rulings as a federal circuit judge.
“Judge Jackson was the court-packers’ pick and she testified like it,” he said, citing Jackson’s testimony that she would be “thrilled” to be on the court regardless of how many members it had. McConnell also alleged that Democrats wanted courts to be “systemically soft on crime” and that Jackson could be the effort’s “crowning jewel.” He referred to criticism from Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) of Jackson for giving sex offenders lighter sentences than possible and for shortening the sentence of a fentanyl dealer. “It was not reassuring to hear Judge Jackson say that if senators want her to be tough on crime, we need to change the law, take away her discretion and force her to do it,” he said. “That response seems to confirm deeply held personal policy views seep into her jurisprudence, and that is exactly what the record suggests.”