GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on Friday aired his disapproval of President Joe Biden’s decision to nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.
Jackson, who would be the first African-American woman to serve on the high court, is the president’s pick to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.
Graham was one of three Republican senators who voted to confirm Jackson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in June.
However, he and fellow South Carolina lawmakers Sen. Tim Scott and Democratic House Majority Whip James Clyburn had been lobbying for Biden to select District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs from their state to the Supreme Court, believing she could have garnered considerable bipartisan support.
Lindsey Graham is unhappy. Now other South Carolina GOP senator weighs in. He’s unhappy, too. pic.twitter.com/OLb5Cxb84x
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 25, 2022
Graham tweeted Friday that Jackson’s selection means “the radical Left has won President Biden over yet again.”
“The attacks by the Left on Judge Childs from South Carolina apparently worked,” he added. “I expect a respectful but interesting hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.”
I expect a respectful but interesting hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Harvard-Yale train to the Supreme Court continues to run unabated.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 25, 2022
In addition to Graham, GOP Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine voted to confirm Jackson to the D.C. circuit last summer.
Murkowski — who is up for re-election in November in a state former President Donald Trump carried by double digits — said she feels no compunction to vote the same way this time.
“I’ve been clear that previously voting to confirm an individual to a lower court does not signal how I will vote for a Supreme Court justice,” she said in a Friday statement.
“I am committed to doing my due diligence before making a final decision on this nominee. Being confirmed to the Supreme Court — the nation’s highest tribunal, and a lifetime appointment — is an incredibly high bar to achieve.”
In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” this month, Murkowski encouraged Biden not to pick a nominee on the far left, but rather one who could win the support of more than just one Republican senator.
Collins was the only one of the three who offered praise for Jackson, saying the Harvard Law School graduate is an “experienced federal judge with impressive academic and legal credentials,” CBS News reported. The Maine senator promised thorough vetting nonetheless.
Democrats will likely need at least one Republican to cross over and vote for Jackson for her nomination to succeed, with the current breakdown of the Senate at 50-50.
There is some legal debate as to whether Vice President Kamala Harris, in her role as president of the Senate, could break a tie in order to confirm a nominee to the Supreme Court.
Further complicating the matter for Democrats, Sen. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico is currently recovering from a stroke, though Politico reported that he is expected to return to D.C. in plenty of time for any confirmation vote.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Jackson, while serving as a federal district court judge, blocked a Trump administration policy to expedite the removal of those who had entered the country illegally. Her decision was reversed by the D.C. Circuit Court.
In 2019, Jackson sided with Democratic House lawmakers who sought to compel testimony from former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn, according to CNN.
Further, last year she was part of a unanimous decision requiring Trump to turn over White House documents to the House Jan. 6 committee.
Some conservative groups have already come out in opposition to Jackson’s appointment.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said, “President Biden has bowed to pressure from his radical base and has selected a judicial activist to fill Justice Stephen Breyer’s seat on the Supreme Court. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has a long record of left-wing activism both on and off the bench.”
Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network, tweeted that with the “nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, Joe Biden has made it clear that his top priority is paying back the left-wing dark money network that spent over one billion dollars to help elect him and Senate Democrats.”
With the intended nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, Joe Biden has made it clear that his top priority is paying back the left-wing dark money network that spent over one billion dollars to help elect him and Senate Democrats. /1
— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) February 25, 2022
She added, “Expect to hear from Biden and his supporters that Judge Jackson is ‘in the mainstream.’ That’s liberal-speak for a judge [who] will deviate from the text of the constitution and statutes without hesitation to ensure the Left’s preferred policy outcomes.”