By Dr. Derek Ellerman
Utah Senator Mitt Romney, once the Governor of Massachusetts and the Republican standard bearer in the 2012 Presidential election, has confirmed he will vote for President Biden’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson.
Jackson has come under fire by some Republicans for her record as a judge, particularly concerning child pornography sentencing and other crimes.
With a 50-50 Senate, Romney’s support is crucial to helping Democrats elevate Jackson to the highest court in the land.
In a statement, Romney fairly gushed over Jackson:
“After reviewing Judge Jackson’s record and testimony, I have concluded that she is a well-qualified jurist and a person of honor. While I do not expect to agree with every decision she may make on the Court, I believe that she more than meets the standard of excellence and integrity.”
Romney isn’t the only Republican to commit to Jackson.
Other moderate Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine have also made known their intention to support Jackson.
Murkowski released a statement:
“After multiple in-depth conversations with Judge Jackson and deliberative review of her record and recent hearings, I will support her historic nomination to be an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
“It also rests on my rejection of the corrosive politicization of the review process for Supreme Court nominees, which, on both sides of the aisle, is growing worse and more detached from reality by the year. While I have not and will not agree with all of Judge Jackson’s decisions and opinions, her approach to cases is carefully considered and is generally well-reasoned.”
Collins was the first Republican to announce her support, saying, “After reviewing Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s extensive record, watching much of her hearing testimony, and meeting with her twice in person, I have concluded that she possesses the experience, qualifications, and integrity to serve as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court.”
Other Republicans have been opposed to Jackson’s confirmation, with the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, announcing his opposition.
Of his decision, Grassley said, “Having carefully studied her record, unfortunately I think she and I have fundamentally different views on the role of judges and the role that they should play in our system of government because of those disagreements I can’t support her nomination.”
Others, like Senators Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul have all expressed disappointment with Jackson’s record or her answers to questions during the confirmation hearings, and will certainly be ‘no’ votes.
With a 50-50 Senate and three Republicans committed to confirming Jackson, she is all but assured to receive the lifetime appointment to the court.
In 2013, Harry Reid, then the Democrat Senate Majority Leader, implemented the “nuclear option” which allowed judges to be confirmed by a simple majority. While this didn’t apply to Supreme Court picks, then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell prophetically warned that the Democrats’ breach of norms would start a chain reaction.
“You’ll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.”
In 2017, that warning came to fruition, when McConnell used the nuclear option to allow Supreme Court confirmations by simple majority.
Now, Democrats will be using it to confirm one of President Biden’s nominees.
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