On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that he won’t vote for Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the Supreme Court.
McConnell said he remains unsatisfied with Brown Jackson’s responses about “court packing.”
Open Mind About Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Nomination
Speaking on the Senate floor, the Kentucky Republican said he approached Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination with an open mind.
However, he began to have his doubts after studying the nominee’s record and listening to her answers. As a result, “I cannot and will not support Judge Jackson for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court,” he said.
In his additional remarks, McConnell suggested that Brown Jackson might become an activist judge. He also took issue with her refusal to take a position on the matter of court packing.
This is the proposal to add more justices to the nine-member Supreme Court. “Judge Jackson refuses to reject the fringe position that Democrats should try to pack the Supreme Court,” McConnell said.
Then, he added that this was an “easy softball” question for her, but then, it wasn’t.
Unlike Ketanji Brown Jackson, Amy Coney Barrett Wouldn’t Opine On Court Packing
The Republican Senate Minority Leader compared Ketanji Brown Jackson with conservative SC Justice Amy Coney Barrett. The latter sidestepped a similar question during her own hearing.
Barrett said she won’t opine on the issue. In addition, McConnell said that liberal justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg also passed a similar test. They “had no problem denouncing this unpopular view and defending their institution.”
In contrast, Brown Jackson seemed too eager for this position. She “seemingly actually tipped her hand” during her confirmation hearing.
Ketanji Brown Jackson said “ she would be ‘thrilled to be one of however many.’ However many,” McConnell added. “Nothing we saw this week convinced me that President Biden’s or Judge Jackson’s far-left fan club had misjudged her.
I will vote against this nominee on the Senate floor,” McConnell flatly stated. Earlier, he also said that “Judge Jackson was the court-packers' pick, and she testified like it.”
‘Staying in My Lane’
During her two days of confirmation hearings, Ketanji Brown Jackson declined on numerous occasions to provide her opinion.
This included stating her position on proposals to increase the number of justices in the Supreme Court. Many progressive groups who pushed for this proposal are also vocal supporters of Brown Jackson.
“Other nominees to this Supreme Court have responded as I will, which is that it is a policy question for Congress,” she said.
“I am particularly mindful of not speaking to policy issues because I am so committed to staying in my lane of the system”. She added that she is not willing to speak to issues that are properly in the province of this body,” she said.
Ketanji Brown Jackson Can Still Secure the SC Seat
McConnell's opposition to Jackson's nomination comes as no surprise. The Kentucky senators also opposed her confirmation to the DC circuit last year.
In addition, McConnell also noted the nominee’s less than stellar record during her months-old stint on the DC Circuit.
However, Ketanji Brown Jackson can still secure a seat at the Supreme Court even without any Republican support.
The 50 Democrat Senators only need to vote for her unanimously, which leaves a possible 50 votes of No from Republicans.
Vice President Kamala Harris can cast the vote to break the tie. Even so, the White House remains hopeful that she receives a bipartisan confirmation.
Watch the MSNBC news video reporting that Mitch McConnell will vote no on Ketanji Brown Jackson's SCOTUS nomination:
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