Republican Senator Flips on Ketanji Brown Jackson, Will Oppose Her Supreme Court Nomination

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Thursday he will oppose Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court, a change from a year ago when Graham was one of three GOP senators to approve Jackson to an appellate court.

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Graham announced his opposition on the Senate floor Thursday, citing, in part, Jackson’s record as a federal court judge in sentencing child pornography offenders to lesser sentences than the guidelines stated.

“My decision is based upon her record of judicial activism, flawed sentencing methodology regarding child pornography cases, and a belief that Judge Jackson will not be deterred by the plain meaning of the law when it comes to liberal causes​,” Graham said.

The reference was to Jackson’s record during her nine years as a federal judge, an issue that Graham and other Republican senators grilled her about during last week’s confirmation hearings.

Graham noted that he found Jackson, whom he voted to confirm to the DC appeals court last year, to be of “exceptionally good character​” and “respected by her peers​” but couldn’t support her elevation to the high court, saying “this is a bridge too far.”

“After a thorough review of Judge Jackson’s record and information gained at the hearing from an evasive witness, I now know why Judge Jackson was the favorite of the ​’​Radical Left​,’” he said.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is the only Republican so far to come out in support of Jackson. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the other Republican who voted to confirm Jackson to the appeals court, has yet to say how she will vote.

The “no” vote on Jackson would be the first time Graham voted against a Supreme Court nominee. He previously voted to confirm Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who were nominated by President Barack Obama, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito (nominated by President George W. Bush) and Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett (nominated by President Donald Trump).

During last week’s Judiciary Committee hearing, Graham blasted Democrats over their attacks on Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing, as well as their filibuster of the nomination of Judge Janice Rogers Brown, a black woman, to the federal appeals court in DC in the the early 2000s.

Graham also made it clear that he supported South Carolina federal Judge J. Michelle Childs for the Supreme Court alongside House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC).

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“When her name was mentioned as a potential nominee, the Radical Left declared war on her nomination and gave their full support to Judge Jackson. There’s no doubt in my mind that Judge Childs would have been a reliable vote for the liberal bloc of the Court,” said Graham, who predicted that Childs “would have received a strong bipartisan vote in the Senate.”

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Jackson is expected to be confirmed by the Senate with at least 51 votes next week and replace Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced he would step down at the end of the court’s current term. If confirmed, Jackson would take her place on the court for the term beginning in October.