Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate Minority Leader, said that he would vote against Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nominee. McConnell’s stance isn’t shocking.
He voted against her for the appeals court seat last year and has expressed reservations throughout the week. However, it highlights the GOP’s intensifying resistance to Jackson’s candidacy, and it comes after McConnell delayed declaring his vote until after the hearing.
“I can’t and will not approve Judge Jackson for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court after analyzing the nominee’s background and witnessing her performance this week,” McConnell declared from the Senate floor. McConnell cited a number of reasons for his opposition, including her sentence rulings, issues about her judicial philosophy, and Jackson’s refusal to take a stand on Supreme Court expansion. He also admonished her against engaging in “judicial activism,” per report.
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“It’s a formula for judges to become involved in policymaking and stifle democratic compromise. I’ve spent my entire career battling against this misunderstanding of the separation of powers… I will vote against this nomination, “McConnell continued. After completing her Judiciary Committee hearing this week, Democrats are moving forward with Jackson’s nomination.
The commission will vote on her candidacy on April 4 and hopes to get her confirmed before the end of the two-week recess. As soon as all 50 Senate Democrats are on board, and Vice President Harris can break a tie, Democrats may approve Jackson without any Republican votes. McConnell’s opposition was “disappointed but not surprising,” according to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
McConnell expressed worry about extending the Supreme Court, but Durbin countered that the concept lacks the support required to pass the Senate. He also referred to Republicans’ refusal to consider Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nominee in 2016, claiming that McConnell is the “only senator in contemporary memory who has had a direct influence on the makeup of the United States Supreme Court.”