Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was one of only three Senate Republicans to vote for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last year. Graham announced Thursday that he would not be voting for Jackson’s confirmation this year for the U.S. Supreme Court.
In a lengthy explanation of his decision on the Senate floor, Graham said that he had to consider her “record of judicial activism” and her “flawed methodology” in regard to sentencing defendants convicted in child pornography cases. He added that he was concerned that she would not follow the “clear meaning” of written laws when they conflict with liberal causes she favors.
In a tweet posted Thursday, Graham said Jackson is a person of “exceptionally good character” but said that she has shown a tendency to seek particular outcomes even if they are contradicted by what the law requires or common sense.
Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) were the Republican senators to join Graham in voting for Jackson’s last confirmation just last June. Collins announced Wednesday that she plans to vote to confirm Jackson to the Supreme Court.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) voted against Jackson’s confirmation last year but is now saying he has been taking a “much deeper dive” on the current nomination. He said that he is going to complete his new analysis before reaching a decision.
Because of the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris in a Senate that is divided 50-50, the Democratic caucus can confirm Jackson without any Republican votes.
Moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said on Friday that he will vote for Jackson’s confirmation. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has not made a public statement about how she will vote on Jackson, but Democrats appear confident she will be a “yes” vote. Sinema has voted to approve all of Biden’s judicial nominees since he assumed office and has referred to Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court a “historic milestone.”
Jackson was picked by Joe Biden as his nominee to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. Bryer is considered a firm member of the liberal wing of the court, and Jackson’s confirmation would not alter the overall ideological balance of the nine-member court. Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor are the other two reliably liberal members.