Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of the the three GOP senators who voted last year to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit, announced on Thursday that he will vote against elevating Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The senator explained his choice to oppose Jackson’s confirmation, pointing to “her record of judicial activism, flawed sentencing methodology regarding child pornography cases” as well as his view that “when it comes to liberal causes” she will not be restrained by the clear meaning of the law.
Graham described the judge as “a person of exceptionally good character,” but said that “her record is overwhelming in its lack of a steady judicial philosophy and a tendency to achieve outcomes in spite of what the law requires or common sense would dictate.”
Graham and fellow GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine voted to confirm Jackson to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in June 2021.
Jackson will almost certainly be seated on the Supreme Court. Collins announced on Wednesday that she will vote to confirm Jackson to the high court. But the Senate Democratic caucus would have been able to confirm Jackson even without any GOP support, assuming the entire caucus voted to confirm Jackson and Vice President Kamala Harris cast a tie-breaking vote.
Justice Stephen Breyer is planning to retire later this year and President Joe Biden nominated Jackson to fill the corresponding vacancy that will arise. Since Breyer is considered a member of the court’s liberal contingent, and Jackson is also likely to join the ranks of the left-leaning justices, the overall ideological balance of the nine member court will likely remain the same.
GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who voted against confirming Jackson last year, said that he has started a “much deeper dive than … during the prior evaluation,” and will “complete that analysis and then reach a decision.”
Graham Discusses Opposition to Judge Jackson Supreme Court Nomination on Senate Floor