(Headline USA) RINO Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney say they will vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s elevation to the Supreme Court, giving President Joe Biden’s nominee a burst of bipartisan support and all but assuring she’ll become the first black female justice.
The senators from Alaska and Utah announced their decisions Monday night ahead of a procedural vote to advance the nomination and as Democrats pressed to confirm Jackson by the end of the week.
GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine announced last week that she would back Jackson, noting her “stellar qualifications” as a federal judge, public defender and member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
All three Republicans said they did not expect to agree with all of Jackson’s decisions, but they found her extremely well qualified.
Romney said Jackson “more than meets the standard of excellence and integrity.”
Murkowski said she will “bring to the Supreme Court a range of experience from the courtroom that few can match given her background in litigation.”
With three Republicans supporting her in the 50–50 split Senate, Jackson is on a glide path to confirmation as the third black justice and only the sixth woman in the court’s more than 200-year history.
Democrats also have cited her chanceto become the first former public defender on the court.
Both Collins and Murkowski said they believed that the Senate nomination process has become broken as it has become more partisan in the past several decades.
Collins, who faced a contentious re-election battle in 2020, voted against centrist Trump-nominated Justice Amy Coney Barrett to replace leftist stalwart Ruth Bader Ginsberg in the weeks ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
However, with a GOP majority at the time, she cast the deciding vote to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 following a concerted leftist smear campaign to drag his name through the mud with baseless rape allegations.
Murkowski—who symbolically voted against Kavanaugh—is up for reelection this year and faces a formidable threat from a Trump-backed primary challenger, Kelly Tshibaka.
Despite having fed into the Democrat-driven toxicity, Murkowski claimed her decision partly 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.”
After the vote, Murkowski said she had “assumed a level of risk” but “there’s three of us that found ourselves in this place where I believe the strength, qualifications of the candidate are such that are appropriate for the court.”
Biden nominated Jackson to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, who will step down after the court’s session ends this summer.
Biden—who is credited with haven initiated the partisan divide during confirmation hearings for Reagan-nominated Robert Bork and Bush 41-nominated Clarence Thomas—has sought bipartisan backing for his extremist pick, making repeated calls to senators and inviting Republicans to the White House.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that administration officials would work the phones until the last minute to maximize support.
“Judge Jackson will bring extraordinary qualifications, deep experience and intellect, and a rigorous judicial record to the Supreme Court,” Biden tweeted earlier Monday. “She deserves to be confirmed as the next justice.”
The Senate’s 53-47 vote Monday evening was to “discharge” Jackson’s nomination from the Senate Judiciary Committee after the panel deadlocked, 11–11, on whether to send the nomination to the Senate floor.
The committee vote, split along party lines, was the first deadlock on a Supreme Court nomination since 1991, when Biden was chairman and a motion to send Thomas’s nomination to the floor with a “favorable” recommendation failed on a 7–7 vote.
The Judiciary committee’s top Republican, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, said he opposed Jackson’s nomination because “she and I have fundamental, different views on the role of judges and the role that they should play in our system of government.”
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky set the tone for most of his party last week when he said he “cannot and will not” support Jackson, citing GOP concerns raised in hearings about her sentencing record and her backing from leftist advocacy groups.
Republicans on the Judiciary panel continued their push Monday to expose Jackson as soft on crime, defending their repeated questions about her sentencing on sex crimes.
“Questions are not attacks,” said Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, one of several GOP senators on the panel who hammered the point in the hearings two weeks ago.
Democrats said she was in line with other judges in her decisions. And on Monday they launched yet another hypocritical, race-baiting attack at their GOP counterparts’ questioning.
“You could try and create a straw man here, but it does not hold,” claimed New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who dubbed himself “Spartacus” during the Kavanaugh hearing while overtly refusing to abide by Senate rules.
Booker claimed Jackson’s questioning was filled with “absurdities of disrespect,” and said he will “rejoice” when Jackson is confirmed.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press