Murkowski, Romney back Jackson for Supreme Court

Greg Nash photos

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Mitt Romney (Utah) said on Monday they would support Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, making for three GOP senators who said they will back President Biden’s pick to the high court.

“After multiple in-depth conversations with Judge Jackson and deliberative review of her record and recent hearings, I will support her historic nomination to be an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court,” Murkowski said in a statement.

Romney said he had concluded that Jackson was “a well-qualified jurist and a person of honor.”

“While I do not expect to agree with every decision she may make on the Court, I believe that she more than meets the standard of excellence and integrity,” he said.

Murkowski and Romney join Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) in backing Jackson’s nomination on the GOP side. 

Both were considered votes to watch in the final stretch of Jackson’s confirmation process. Murkowski backed Jackson for her appeals court seat but is up for reelection in 2022 and facing a Trump-backed challenger who could use the vote for Jackson as fodder heading into the November midterms. 

Murkowski acknowledged that her vote was “a level of risk” because she’s breaking with most of her caucus.

“You have to kind of separate out where I am in my political calculus and look at is this woman qualified to serve,” Murkowski told reporters, when asked if the political calculation impacted her Supreme Court decision. 

Murkowski, asked if it would be politically safer to vote no, told reporters that they were “giving more credence than you should.”

“Is there any safe place? In this polarized time is there any safe place?” Murkowski said. 

Murkowski said in her statement that she was basing her “yes” vote on Jackson’s “qualifications, which no one questions; her demonstrated judicial independence; her demeanor and temperament; and the important perspective she would bring to the court as a replacement for Justice Breyer.”

“It also rests on my rejection of the corrosive politicization of the review process for Supreme Court nominees, which, on both sides of the aisle, is growing worse and more detached from reality by the year,” Murkowski added. 

Romney, meanwhile, opposed Jackson’s appeals court nomination but had appeared open-minded on her Supreme Court nomination and critical of some GOP attacks on her sentencing decisions. 

“I believe that she more than meets the standard of excellence and integrity. I congratulate Judge Jackson on her expected confirmation and look forward to her continued service to our nation,” Romney added. 

Updated 7:30 p.m.

Tags Biden Joe Biden Ketanji Brown Jackson Lisa Murkowski Lisa Murkowski Mitt Romney Mitt Romney Susan Collins
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