Home Faculty meeting Utah Sen. Mitt Romney says he will confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court, while Mike Lee votes ‘no’

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney says he will confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court, while Mike Lee votes ‘no’


Sen. Mike Lee told the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Monday that he was troubled by certain aspects of Jackson’s legal record. The committee voted 11-11 along party lines.

(Alex Brandon | AP) Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, questions Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2022.

Republican Utah Sen. Mike Lee voted against confirming Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Monday.

After days of hearings, the committee – which evaluates candidates for the White House bench – met Monday to vote, resulting in an 11-11 deadlock along party lines. However, that doesn’t mean President Joe Biden’s nomination has stalled.

The tie will allow Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, to introduce a motion to move the Senate nomination, the Wall Street Journal reported, which will require a simple majority of 51 votes to pass.

Utah freshman Sen. Mitt Romney, also a Republican, indicated Monday that he would vote to confirm the historic nomination.

“I have concluded that she is a qualified jurist and a person of honor,” Romney said in a statement Monday afternoon. “While I don’t expect to agree with every decision she may make on the Court, I believe she largely meets the standards of excellence and integrity.”

During the initial discussion ahead of Monday’s vote, Lee listed several reasons for his opposition.

“When we asked about Justice Jackson’s judicial philosophy, when we asked her [and] when we asked others, we were often told we should check his file,” Lee said. “So we looked at his file. We have a lot of things in his file that we found to be concerning.

He highlighted Jackson’s conviction in child pornography cases, as well as his involvement in the cases. Hit the road New York against McAleenan and AFGE against Trump.

These cases have not received as much attention as some of his other decisions, as some of his sentencing decisions, but they are very, very important,” he said. “They bother me deeply. Because when someone is willing to act when they lack jurisdiction and/or when they don’t have a valid cause of action on which to grant that remedy, it’s someone who cuts the heart of the limits of judicial authority and creates a dangerous set of conditions.”

Lee also noted his displeasure with Jackson’s responses during the hearing process.

“I’m also concerned about her inability or unwillingness to answer some basic questions,” he said, specifically referring to questions that asked Jackson to define what a woman is and her perspective on it. the addition of justices to the Supreme Court. “… These are disturbing and inadequate answers that she gives because she does not answer them at all, very basic questions. Questions she could easily answer, should easily answer, and the fact that she doesn’t and doesn’t is concerning.

Lee concluded his remarks by saying the committee had not had access to key documents regarding Jackson’s past sentencing decisions and questioned why the process was rushing so quickly toward confirmation.

Jackson is President Joe Biden’s choice to replace retired Justice Stephen Breyer, for whom she served as clerk from 1999 to 2000, on the nine-judge tribunal. She has an extensive resume and is currently a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Jackson would be the first black woman to serve in the field.

The judge also has the support of a large group of professors at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark School of Law, which has a reputation as one of the most conservative law schools in the country. In a March letter sent to the leadership of the U.S. Senate, 16 faculty members pleaded for his confirmation.

“Judge Jackson’s academic achievement, extensive practice and judicial experience, and broad bipartisan support would make her a distinguished appointment to the court,” the faculty members wrote.

Tribune reporter Bryan Schott contributed to this report.

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