McConnell to vote against Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) arrive for a press conference after the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.
Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Thursday that he will oppose Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination.

McConnell’s decision isn’t surprising — he voted against her last year for her appeals court spot and has signaled concerns through the week. But it underscores hardening GOP opposition to Jackson’s nomination and comes after McConnell held off in announcing how he would vote until after the hearing.

“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,” McConnell said from the Senate floor.

McConnell pointed to several reasons for his opposition, including her sentencing decisions, questions about her judicial philosophy and Jackson’s decision not to take a position on expanding the Supreme Court. He also warned that she would engage in “judicial activism.”

“It’s a recipe for courts to wander into policy making and prevent healthy Democratic compromise. This is the misunderstanding of the separation of powers that I’ve spent my entire career fighting against. … I will vote against this nominee,” McConnell added.

Democrats are pushing forward with Jackson’s nomination after wrapping up her Judiciary Committee hearing this week.

The committee is expected to vote on her nomination on April 4 and want her confirmed before leaving for a two-week break. Democrats can confirm Jackson without any GOP votes as long as all 50 Democratic senators are united, and Vice President Harris can break a tie.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said that he was “disappointed but not surprised” by McConnell’s opposition.

Durbin pushed back on McConnell’s concern about expanding the Supreme Court, noting that the idea doesn’t have the votes needed to pass the Senate. He also pointed back to Republicans refusing to take up Merrick Garland’s 2016 Supreme Court nomination, saying that makes McConnell the only senator “who has had a direct impact on the composition of the United States Supreme Court in modern memory.”

“I want to make sure she’s on the court, that we will have bipartisan support … I hope and I’m still hoping that several Republicans will step up and support her nomination. I’m disappointed by Senator McConnell’s position but I’m not surprised,” Durbin added.

— Updated at 7:45 p.m.

Tags Black Americans Black female Supreme Court nominee Dick Durbin Joe Biden Ketanji Brown Jackson Merrick Garland Mitch McConnell Supreme Court nominee

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