McConnell Will Vote 'No' on Ketanji Brown Jackson - Here Are the Big Reasons Why Other Republicans Will Too
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Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Thursday he has several reasons for voting against Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation for a seat on the Supreme Court, such as concerns about her judicial philosophy.
He said in a Senate floor speech that he "cannot and will not" support her for a lifetime appointment.
McConnell slammed the liberal groups that have supported Jackson, and he criticized her for refusing to take a position on the size of the nine-member court. Some advocacy groups have pushed for enlarging the court after three justices nominated by former President Donald Trump gave conservatives the majority.
McConnell also cited concerns about her sentencing of criminal defendants — a subject that dominated much of the four days of hearings and that left some lawmakers wondering if she's soft on crime.
As CBN News reported, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Jackson's nomination on April 4. Senate Democratic leaders expect the full Senate to confirm Jackson to the high court before their Easter break on April 8.
Other Senate Republicans have already indicated they will not vote for Jackson, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
"We ought to demand a justice who will defend our constitutional rights: free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment," Cruz told Fox News Wednesday night. "There's no indication she'd do that."
During an interview with an Austin radio station KLBJ-AM Thursday morning, Cornyn said Jackson did not answer any of his questions during the hearing.
"It's amazing to me how people can look you in the eye and then just tell you things that are not true or play dumb and act like they don't know what you're talking about," Cornyn said.
Republicans' Most Serious Questions About Jackson
1. Child porn sentencing - she gave light sentences to sex offenders.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) tweeted his concerns about Jackson's "judicial philosophy," writing: "Judge Jackson insists she won't sentence child porn offenders to more time if they have lots of child porn - explain that one."
Judge Jackson insists she won’t sentence child porn offenders to more time if they have lots of child porn - explain that one pic.twitter.com/8L9lJMwRMn— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 23, 2022
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) tweeted, "There are sentencing guidelines for a reason. After Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson sentenced a child predator to 3 months instead of the recommended 8 years, the perpetrator reoffended."
"You do not go easy on child predators," she wrote.
There are sentencing guidelines for a reason. After Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson sentenced a child predator to 3 months instead of the recommended 8 years, the perpetrator reoffended.— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) March 24, 2022
You do not go easy on child predators.
2. Critical Race Theory - the school where she's a board member teaches CRT.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Critical race theory is defined as the concept in which race is a socially constructed category ingrained in American law intended to maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites. It holds that the U.S. is inherently racist.
During the hearing Tuesday, Sen. Cruz brought out a number of books on racism that appear on a reading list from the Georgetown Day School, the private school where Jackson serves on the school board.
Cruz tweeted his exchange on Jackson concerning CRT, writing " ICYMI: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson sits on the board of a school that is overflowing with Critical Race Theory."
ICYMI: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson sits on the board of a school that is overflowing with Critical Race Theory. pic.twitter.com/EF3NCGWjGI— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) March 24, 2022
3. The definition of a woman - In probably one of the oddest moments ever televised during a Supreme Court nomination hearing, Jackson would not answer when asked by Sen. Blackburn what a woman is, leaving some to speculate that she holds to the liberal belief that there are other actual genders besides male and female.
"Can you provide a definition for the word 'woman'?" Blackburn asked.
"Can I provide a definition? No," Jackson replied. "I can't."
"You can't?" Blackburn responded.
"Not in this context. I'm not a biologist," Jackson said.
Blackburn later tweeted, "Judge Jackson can't even define what a woman is."
Judge Jackson can’t even define what a woman is. pic.twitter.com/G6OKMYR3Iy— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) March 23, 2022
Even former Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, was stunned by the response, saying we need to be able to define what a woman is in America.
4. As a public defender for terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Jackson called former President George W. Bush and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld "war criminals."
During his radio interview, Cornyn said, "When Judge Jackson was a public defender, she defended a member of the Taliban in federal court and filed a petition, a habeas corpus petition which we have a copy of, where she accuses Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, and George W. Bush, President of the United States, of committing war crimes."
"And when I asked her, did you accuse them of being war criminals, she said, no," the Texas senator continued. "And I said, well, what's the difference between accusing somebody of a crime and calling them a criminal? And she played dumb and acted like she didn't know what I was talking about and couldn't answer the question."
"I would say, by and large, the judge has done a pretty good job with some notable exceptions like that and others, including when Senator Blackburn asked her about 'Can you define what a woman is?' She said, 'I'm not a biologist.' That's pretty dumbfounding," Cornyn said.
This week, the American people have been able to hear directly from Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden's nominee to the Supreme Court.— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) March 24, 2022
I joined Austin’s @ToddandDon earlier today to discuss what we've learned so far. pic.twitter.com/zglx3WCtiF
5. When asked by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), "When does life begin in your opinion?" Jackson responded, "I don't know."
"Do you have a belief?" Kennedy asked.
"I have personal, religious, and otherwise beliefs that have nothing to do with the law in terms of when life begins," she replied.
"Do you have a personal belief though about when life begins?" Kennedy responded.
"I have a religious view that I set aside when I am ruling on cases," she answered.
Kennedy then asked Jackson when does equal protection of the laws apply to a human being?
Jackson started to answer the question, but then stopped and said, "I actually don't know the answer to that question. I'm sorry, I don't."
When does life begin, in your opinion?— John Kennedy (@SenJohnKennedy) March 23, 2022
Judge: Senator, I don't know.
Judge: I don't know. pic.twitter.com/vBPfD0KCMD
In a recent article, National Review Staff Writer Alexandra DeSanctis answered the question "When does life begin?"
"But the question of when human life begins isn't a matter of personal belief. It's a scientific fact," DeSanctis wrote. "There is an overwhelming consensus among biologists and embryologists that human life begins at conception. We might debate what that fact means for abortion law and policy, or for the morality of abortion, but it's a fact nonetheless."
Jackson Expected to Be Confirmed with Full Democrat Support
Still, Jackson is expected to be confirmed by Democrats when her vote before the full Senate is held next month.
Democrats have roundly praised Jackson, and New Jersey Democrat Sen. Cory Booker took his support to the next level by not asking her questions during his allotted time on Wednesday.
Instead, he gave a speech and tearfully spoke about race in America, drawing tears from Jackson as well. Booker said when he looks at Jackson, "I see my ancestors and yours."
He also spoke about faith, calling Jackson a Christian and a mom. "It's hard for me to look at you and not see my mom," Booker said.
"God has got you," he continued. "I know what it's taken for you to sit here in this seat. You have earned this spot."
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