After the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-11, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for a vote to break the deadlock and send his nomination to the floor. Every Democrat and three Republican senators – Susan Collins of Maine, Mitt Romney of Utah and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska – voted in favor of Jackson.
“Justice Jackson will bring to the Supreme Court the highest levels of competence, honesty, civility and compassion,” said Illinois Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, explaining his support for him Monday. “Today’s activities of the committee are nothing short of historic. I am honored to be a part of it. ”
“My support relies on Judge Jackson’s qualifications, which no one questions; Demonstrating his judicial independence; His demeanor and mood; And he will bring that important point to court as a replacement for Justice Brayer, “Murkowski said on Monday. “It also relies on the Supreme Court’s rejection of the erosive politicization of the review process for nominees, which, on both sides of the corridor, is getting worse and more detached from reality over the years.”
Some GOP senators said Monday that they were not impressed by Jackson’s claim that he did not have a judicial view of himself but rather a system that ensures that he rules impartially.
Texas GOP Sen. John Cornin said, “Judges must strike and strike,” comparing a judge to an umpire and pointing to the metaphor of Chief Justice John Roberts. “And because of what I’ve seen, and his reluctance to express his judicial philosophy, and his denial of the expansionist view of countless rights, I’m concerned that Judge Jackson will hit the pinch for one party or another.”
Other Republican senators have described Jackson as a pawn of the “fundamentalist left.” Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said he believes “he will prove to be the most extreme and farthest left judge to serve in the United States Supreme Court.” Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said Jackson would “deal with criminals and terrorists.” And Missouri Sen. Josh Howley has condemned her sentencing in some child pornography cases.
Democrats say there have been some Republican intimidation and cherry-picking cases, noting that he has written more than 550 lawsuits in his eight years as district judge and has already been confirmed by the Senate in three previous terms. Sen. Diane Feinstein of California said Jackson’s “very low reversal rate was only 2%.” Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said the GOP was involved in “incompetent demagoguery” and “imaginary aggression.” And Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey noted Jackson’s support from law enforcement groups, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police, and those who support victims, such as the National Children’s Alliance.
Graham, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said that while Jackson was “extremely good-natured”, he was “very humble” in his sentencing of the cases and was “activist” in calling former President George W. Bush and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld “war.” He defended a prisoner as a legal minor.
“My decision is based on his track record of judicial activism, the flawed sentencing of child pornography cases and the fact that Jackson, a trusted judge, will not interfere with the simple meaning of the law when it comes to liberal causes,” Graham said.
Durbin slammed Graham on both sides of the Senate floor last week, calling Jackson a “mainstream criminal” in a child pornography case and saying Republicans also voted for President Donald Trump’s judges who “do exactly the same thing.” He described the Bush administration as “war criminals” and said it was “extremely exaggerated and unfair”.
It is rare for the Senate Judiciary Committee to be tied to a Supreme Court nomination. But the nomination battle has become increasingly controversial, and the current Senate is divided into 50-50 divisions, so Democrats and Republicans have equal numbers on the panel, instead of the majority party holding more seats.
Over the past five decades, the panel has once again fallen into disrepair – with Clarence Thomas facing sexual harassment charges. Fifteen judges – William Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Sandra de O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Sauter, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, John Roberts, Samuel Elito, Sonoere And Amy Connie Barrett – who passed the committee by that time.
In the Trump era, Senate Republicans strengthened the Conservatives’ hold on the court from 5-4 to 6-3, another election year – after retaining President Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland during 2016 – and then confirming Gorsuch in 2017, and Connie Barrett. Ginsburg replacement in late 2020. Jackson’s confirmation will probably replace a liberal-breeder with another.
“I think all indications are that Judge Jackson is going to be a liberal activist off the bench,” Senate GoP leader Mitch McConnell told Fox last week. “But the good news for people like me, the court is still 6-3.”
“We’ve made drastic changes over the last four years, which I think puts the court in a very strong position with a large number of judges who believe in this strange notion that a judge should follow the law,” he added.
This story and title was updated Monday with additional developments.
CNN’s Tierney Snyder and Daniel Dale contributed to this report.