I think, going into the Senate confirmation hearings this week, Ketanji Brown Jackson had a shot at getting some Republican votes. But given her responses–in particular, her testimony in regard to child porn offenders, her contradictory statements in regard to Critical Race Theory, and perhaps especially her inability to be able to define things like “what is a woman“–she certainly has made it more difficult on herself.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) just came out against her, saying he would be a “no” vote on her confirmation.
I went into the Senate’s consideration of Judge Jackson’s nomination 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 our highest Court.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) March 24, 2022
“I went into the Senate’s consideration of Judge Jackson’s nomination with an open mind,” McConnell exclaimed. “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 our highest Court.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Republicans at a Thursday party lunch that Jackson’s nomination is “more controversial than expected,” according to people briefed on the lunch. It was a sign of hardening opposition from GOP leaders.
McConnell on Thursday afternoon announced he would oppose Jackson’s nomination, citing that she “refuses to reject the fringe position that Democrats should try to pack the Supreme Court.” He added that Jackson did not have a sufficient paper trail on constitutional issues and that he was concerned about her sentencing record.
McConnell’s announcement is now likely to lead the way for others. The real question after the testimony this week is: which Republicans, if any, are going to be on board with Jackson?
It’s hard to imagine any of the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voting for her, given their questions and her answers. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) also announced that he’s a “no,” Wednesday night. If anyone would have been a “yes,” it might have been Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) going in, but he was furious at how the left went after another potential candidate whom he liked – Judge Michelle Childs from his state – and he has been very upset with Jackson’s responses in their exchanges, so I’m not seeing that happening. The real question might be where Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) end up.
Republicans already announced that they won”t support a boycott of the vote on the Committee, so the vote is likely to be on April 4. If it’s a tie – if all the Republican Committee members stand together against the nominee – which is possible, then it won’t get voted out of Committee, and the Democrats will have to go for a procedural vote to get it out to the floor.
On the floor, in the whole Senate, then the question would once again lie with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT). The Republicans would still need to swing some moderate Democrats, as well.
But McConnell’s announcement Thursday has certainly signaled that this is going to be a tougher fight than the Democrats would have liked.