Administration

Biden: Three Republicans who voted to confirm Jackson ‘deserve enormous credit’

President Biden on Friday singled out the three Republican senators who voted to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, praising them for setting aside partisanship in what has become a divisive process.

“Not withstanding the harassment and attacks in the hearings, I always believed that a bipartisan vote was possible,” Biden said at an event with Jackson to celebrate her confirmation. “And I hope I don’t get them in trouble, and I mean it sincerely, but I want to thank three Republicans who voted for Judge Jackson.”

Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) were the lone three Republicans to back Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court, giving her a bipartisan majority in the final vote.

“Sen. Collins is a woman of integrity. Sen. Murkowski the same way in Alaska, up for reelection. And Mitt Romney, whose dad stood up like he did. His dad stood up and made these decisions on civil rights,” Biden continued, referencing the late Michigan Gov. George Romney (R). “They deserve enormous credit for setting aside partisanship and making the carefully considered judgment based on the judge’s character, qualifications and independence.”

Biden had made clear throughout the process that he hoped to get a bipartisan vote for his pick to replace the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, meeting and talking on the phone with Democrats and Republicans.

But the Supreme Court confirmation process has become increasingly partisan in recent years, with nominees often struggling to garner more than a couple votes from the party opposite of the president.

Republicans in 2016 refused to give a hearing to Merrick Garland, then-President Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and only a few Democrats crossed over to support Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was the only Democrat to vote for Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, and no Democrats voted to confirm Justice Amy Coney Barrett in 2020.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who voted to confirm Jackson to the Washington, D.C., appellate court last year, voted against her confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Tags Biden George Romney Joe Biden Joe Biden Ketanji Brown Jackson Ketanji Brown Jackson Lindsey Graham Lisa Murkowski Mitt Romney SCOTUS Supreme Court Susan Collins

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