Senator Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., whose somewhat conservative views on judges make him a key vote in the confirmation battle over Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, has all but sealed the deal for the judge’s confirmation by declaring his support for her.
In the evenly split U.S. Senate, where Vice President Kamala Harris breaks all tie votes, Manchin’s views are closely watched, as he was thought to be the only Democrat who could potentially vote against Jackson. With Manchin’s support, plus the possibility of one or more votes from Republicans, Jackson’s nomination is all but assured.
Manchin tweeted his support for Judge Jackson:
“After meeting with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, considering her record, and closely monitoring her testimony and questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, I have determined I intend to vote for her nomination to serve on the Supreme Court.
“Judge Jackson’s record and career are exemplary. Judge Jackson was educated in our public school system and, through her hard work, graduated with academic honors from Harvard University and Harvard Law School.
“Her wide array of experiences in varying sectors of our judicial system have provided Judge Jackson a unique perspective that will serve her well on our nation’s highest court.”
After meeting with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, considering her record, and closely monitoring her testimony and questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, I have determined I intend to vote for her nomination to serve on the Supreme Court. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/SUgwuBtHup
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) March 25, 2022
The West Virginia senator’s previous voting record has indicated that he does not vote in lockstep with his party when it comes to judicial nominations. Manchin voted for the nominations of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but against the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. All three were nominated by President Donald Trump.
“I went into the Senate’s consideration of Judge Jackson’s nomination with an open mind,” McConnell said. “But after studying the nominee’s record and watching her performance this week, I cannot and will not support Judge Jackson for a lifetime appointment to our highest Court.”
McConnell criticized the nominee’s answers concerning court-packing, judicial philosophy, her record on sentencing of criminal offenders, and her answers about judicial activism.
“Under questioning about judicial activism, Judge Jackson bluntly said this: ‘Well, any time the Supreme Court has five votes, then they have a majority for whatever opinion they determine,’” McConnell said.
“That isn’t just a factual observation.
“It is a clear echo of a famous quotation from perhaps the most famous judicial activist of all time, the arch-liberal William Brennan.”
Focus on the Family President Jim Daly has issued a statement opposing Judge Jackson’s nomination.
“During the past three days of spirited questioning from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Jackson has confirmed suspicions that she subscribes to an expansive and progressive view of the Constitution,” Daly said. “In other words, she believes it’s acceptable to make the law say whatever you want the law to say.
“She has made clear she supports unfettered access to abortion, referring to Roe as ‘settled law.’ She refused to say when she believes life begins. Previously, Judge Jackson co-wrote an amicus brief on behalf of an abortion-rights group and ruled against a teen pregnancy prevention group. Finally, she even told Senator Blackburn she was unable to define what a ‘woman’ was – because she wasn’t a biologist.”
“I urge the Senate to vote ‘no’ on Judge Brown Jackson’s nomination.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on Judge Jackson’s nomination on April 4, followed by a full Senate vote within a couple days thereafter.
Photo from Reuters.