Scott, Graham defend votes against Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination

Clyburn celebrates nomination: ‘History has been made’
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 3:08 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2022 at 3:20 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (WCSC/AP) - South Carolina’s two Republican senators defended their votes opposing the nomination of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court Thursday.

The Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court without the support of the two senators, shattering a historic barrier by securing her place as the first Black female justice and giving President Joe Biden a bipartisan endorsement for his effort to diversify the court.

The Senate voted 53-47 to confirm Jackson with three Republican votes.

Scott appeared Thursday on “Fox & Friends” to respond to backlash against his opposition to Jackson’s nomination. A release from Scott’s office states his reasoning was very simple.

“I did not vote for her for a lower court because I believe that her judicial philosophy is inconsistent [with] what is in the best interest of our judiciary,” he said. “It’s not Biden’s Supreme Court; it’s America’s Supreme Court. The number of her cases that have been overturned only reinforces the fact that this requires a deeper look. And the deeper I look, the more I realize that her judicial philosophy is antithetical to mine.”

Scott said anyone who is concerned about activist judges should be concerned about Jackson’s nomination.

“If you’re concerned about someone who uses their position to reinforce a progressive agenda, [you] should be concerned,” he said. “Those are the issues that most concern me about this appointment.

Scott described Jackson as “a nice person” who is “well-educated.”

“But her judicial philosophy — not who she is, but her ideology — is what we should focus on,” he said. “She represents herself incredibly well. … But at the end of the day, I’m not looking for someone to have a Coca-Cola with. I’m looking for someone who will rule in favor of America’s future. I don’t see that in this judge.”

The U.S. Senate voted 53-47 to confirm Judge Katanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court....
The U.S. Senate voted 53-47 to confirm Judge Katanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court. The vote in favor of Jackson's nomination included three Republican votes.

Graham also defended his vote against Jackson’s nomination, saying his vote was based upon Jackson’s “record of judicial activism, flawed sentencing methodology regarding child pornography cases, and a belief that she will not be deterred by the plain meaning of the law when it comes to liberal cases.”

“I found Judge Jackson to be a person of good character, respected by her peers, and someone who has worked hard to achieve her current position. However, her record is overwhelming in its lack of a steady judicial philosophy and a tendency to achieve outcomes in spite of what the law requires or common sense would dictate,” Graham said. “After a thorough review of Judge Jackson’s record and information gained at the hearing from an evasive witness, I know why Judge Jackson was the favorite of the Radical Left.”

Clyburn celebrates Jackson’s nomination

U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, meanwhile, publicly congratulated Jackson after the Senate vote was official. The Democrat released the following statement:

Today, history has been made. I congratulate Ketanji Brown Jackson on her confirmation to become the first African American woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. She will make an extraordinary Supreme Court Justice.

Judge Jackson demonstrated her ability to rise above great challenges and meet the moment. She stands as a shining example of the depth and breadth of talent among a diverse pool of jurists, who, if empowered to serve, will help ensure that justice in this country is fair and equitable for all.

This is also a tremendous day for President Joe Biden. He has fulfilled the pledge he made to the American people two years ago in Charleston, South Carolina. He has upheld his commitment to ensuring the Administration and the Judiciary reflect the diversity of our country. And, with today’s Senate confirmation vote, he has achieved a goal that has been elusive for so many Black women for far too long.

Jackson will take her seat when Justice Stephen Breyer retires this summer, rejuvenating a diminished liberal wing of the conservative-dominated court. Jackson will be just the third Black justice, after Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and the sixth woman.

At her hearings last month, she told senators she would apply the law “without fear or favor.”

Copyright 2022 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.