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Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., said Thursday he would oppose the nomination of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, a change from a year ago when Graham was one of three GOP senators to endorse Jackson in an appeals court.
Graham announced his opposition in the Senate on Thursday, citing, in part, Jackson’s record as a federal court judge in sentencing child pornography offenders to lesser sentences than stated guidelines.
“I oppose and will vote against Justice Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court,” Graham said. “My decision is based on his record of judicial activism, his flawed sentencing methodology regarding child pornography cases, and his belief that Judge Jackson will not be deterred by the ordinary meaning of the law when it comes to of liberal causes.”
Jackson got three GOP votes last year for confirmation on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: Graham, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
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Murkowski has yet to announce how she will vote, while Collins announced this week that she will back Jackson, giving the White House at least some level of bipartisan support for President Biden’s first Supreme Court nominee.
At the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Graham was one of Jackson’s toughest interlocutors on his child pornography conviction case. On Thursday, he called her an “evasive” witness and denounced her record of not using two sentencing enhancement factors as a federal judge that he said would have a chilling effect on “the explosion of child pornography on the Internet”.
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“I find Judge Jackson to be a person of exceptionally good character, respected by her peers and someone who has worked hard to achieve her current position,” Graham said Thursday. “However, his record is damning in his lack of consistent judicial philosophy and his tendency to achieve results despite what the law requires or common sense would dictate.”
Graham was a vocal opponent of Jackson the moment Biden announced her as his candidate. Biden ignored Graham’s choice — South Carolina District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs — in favor of Jackson, whom Graham dubbed “the frontrunner of the radical left.”
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said Jackson did a good job in his confirmation hearings defending himself against Graham. King said Graham still seemed upset that Biden didn’t choose Childs.
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“He seems very upset that his nominee didn’t get it,” King said last week during a break in Judiciary Committee hearings. “And for me, that’s not a good enough reason to vote against this candidate.”
The Senate is expected to vote on Jackson’s confirmation next week. She would go down in history as the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.