The Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court on Thursday in a vote of 53-47.
Jackson’s confirmation was buttressed with the help of three Republicans: Mitt Romney (R-UT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Susan Collins (R-ME). Jackson is the first black woman to be confirmed to the nation’s highest court.
Romney’s vote in particular is unusual because it’s a flip from his earlier vote against Jackson to take a spot on an appeals court. Senators rarely support a nominee for the Supreme Court after voting against the same nominee for a spot on a lower court.
During her confirmation hearings, GOP lawmakers hammered Jackson on her past record of soft sentences for convicted child porn users.
“What we found was 10 cases where she’s weighed in on child pornography,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told The Daily Wire last month. “Eight of those 10 cases, she was below the minimum sentence. … And this ranged anywhere from 14% to 88%.”
“There were two cases where she didn’t have judicial discretion, and those cases were right at the guidelines,” Blackburn said. “But what she did by and large, when she had — when she was given that discretion, she went below the guidelines.”
Jackson has also been attacked for her past support of Critical Race Theory (CRT) thinkers and the inclusion of the controversial theory in her legal philosophy. The judge also serves on the board of a Washington, D.C., school that promotes CRT in its curriculum. In a number of past speeches and lectures, Jackson has promoted CRT and legitimized affiliated terms such as “microaggression.” As The Daily Wire reported:
A review of a handful of Jackson’s lectures and speeches from the past seven years shows that the nominee has a strong appreciation for leading proponents of CRT, a progressive idea that holds in part: “racism is endemic to, rather than a deviation from, American norms,” legal scholar Kimberle Crenshaw, who coined the term, wrote in 1989. While Jackson has avoided openly championing CRT, she has complimented its advocates and suggested that the progressive theory informs her legal analysis.
In a contrast to Romney, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) voted against her nomination. Graham voted in Jackson’s favor after she was nominated to the U.S. Court of appeals for the D.C. Circuit last year. Graham announced and explained his decision to vote against Jackson on Monday. As The Daily Wire reported:
“I’ll vote no,” Graham began. “First time I’ve ever voted against any Supreme Court nominee. Let me tell you how I got there.” Graham pointed out that he did vote for Jackson’s confirmation to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, because he expected a Democratic president to appoint liberal judges to the federal courts, but said that “the Supreme Court is different from the Circuit Court.”
“Now that you’re talking about the Supreme Court, you’re making policy, not just bound by it,” he said.
Graham also pointed out that Judge Jackson’s nomination had a “political moment.” He expressed contentment with the decision to nominate a black woman to the court, saying it would make the Court “look more like America.” But Graham claimed Judge Jackson’s nomination was “embraced by the most radical people in the Democratic movement, to the exclusion of everybody else. After four days of hearings, I now know why the left likes her so much. It became obvious to me why she was their ‘first,’ and apparently, only, choice.”
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