Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he “cannot and will not” support the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson in a Thursday speech on the Senate floor.
“I went into the Senate’s process with an open mind,” McConnell said. “But after studying the nominee’s record and watching her performance this week, I cannot and will not support Judge Jackson for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.”
The minority leader cited her silence on court-packing, saying “Jackson was the court packer’s pick, and she testified like it.” The Kentucky Republican said she “deflected” questions on judicial philosophy.
He then said Justice Neil Gorsuch had written over 200 Circuit Court opinions, Justice Brett Kavanaugh over 300, Barrett near 100 Appellate Court opinions in a span of three years. Jackson, however, has only written two. (RELATED: ‘You Interrupted Me’: Ted Cruz, Dick Durbin Get Into Heated Exchange At SCOTUS Confirmation Hearing)
McConnell said Jackson’s sentencing record indicates that she will be “soft on crime.” He cited Jackson’s record of sentencing offenders of child pornography and fentanyl use outside of the mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, then added that she “declined” to give reasoning to alleged light sentencing.
“Judge Jackson declined to walk senators through the merits of her reasoning in specific cases,” he continued. “She just kept repeating it was her discretion and if Congress didn’t like it it was our fault for giving her the discretion. That is hardly an explanation as to why she uses her discretion the way she does.”
He suggested both she and President Joe Biden are supporters of “judicial activism,” in which he said he has spent his career fighting against.
“Nothing we saw this week convinced me that either President Biden or Judge Jackson’s deeply invested far-left fan club have misjudged her,” he said.
Jackson defended her sentencing record saying first that Congress determines the Sentencing Guidelines and determining the different circumstances of the case. When pressed by Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley about the case United States v. Hawkins, the nominee said she sentenced the 18-year-old offender to 3 months imprisonment due to the “unusual” case and other factors involved.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin pushed back against McConnell’s remarks, saying Jackson provided an appropriate response to court packing questions and that her sentencing record was in the “mainstream.”