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Murkowski, Romney to support Jackson for Supreme Court, at odds with Nebraska & Iowa GOP senators

Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked 11-11 on whether to recommend the nominee
Ketanji Brown Jackson
Posted at 6:54 PM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 19:54:55-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Monday on whether to recommend Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as a United States Supreme Court justice. The committee deadlocked 11-11, but there will still be a final vote by the entire senate.

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney say they will vote to confirm Jackson’s “historic nomination,” bolstering bipartisan support for the first Black woman to be nominated for the job.

The senators announced their decisions Monday ahead of a procedural Senate vote to advance the nomination. They join Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine who has also said she will support the judge.

Jackson, a federal appellate court judge, was nominated by President Joe Biden to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.

The support from the three Republican senators is in contrast to local lawmakers from both Nebraska and Iowa who said that they will vote 'no' to her nomination.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley was one of the Republican lawmakers who spoke about his decision to vote against confirming Jackson.

"Having carefully studied her record, unfortunately, I think her and I have fundamentally different views on the role of judges and the role that they should play in our system of government. Because of those disagreements, I can't support her nomination," said Grassley.

Nebraska senators also issued the following statements in press releases:

“I appreciated Judge Jackson’s time during my personal meeting with her, but she was not clear about her own judicial philosophy in our conversation. She instead described certain steps when examining a case, including looking at the ‘public meaning’ of the law’s text,” said Fisher. “Translating this ‘public meaning’ is exactly why it is important to have a specific judicial philosophy. I firmly believe that justices on our nation’s highest court must be able to identify the framework of how they interpret our fundamental laws. In doing so, they must adhere strictly to the text of the Constitution as written without limiting the rights it guarantees. Given these considerations, I will oppose her nomination.”

Senator Ben Sasse made a splash in the news for his colorful criticism of some of his colleagues' theatrics during the confirmation hearings, but he announced he's still not going to vote in favor of Jackson's nomination.

"Like so much of our public square, the Supreme Court confirmation process is broken and doesn’t build trust in either the Senate or the Supreme Court. Senators should have made fewer speeches, and Judge Jackson should have made her judicial philosophy clear and understandable to the American people. Unfortunately, neither of those things happened,” said Sasse. "I am grateful for Judge Jackson’s service and wish her and her family the best as she takes her seat on the Court, but I am unable to consent to the nomination.”

Democrats hope to confirm Jackson by the end of the week but Monday's committee vote was delayed when one senator's plane was delayed in bringing him back to Washington.

The committee deadlocked 11-11, meaning Democrats may have to spend additional hours on the Senate floor to "discharge" her nomination from the committee.

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