Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced he would vote against Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court after Jackson’s confirmation hearings concluded on Thursday.
“I enjoyed meeting the nominee. I went into the Senate process with an open mind,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “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.”
McConnell’s announcement comes after nearly one week of questioning by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republican Senators like Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) focused on her “alarming pattern” of giving extremely lenient sentences to child sex offenders.
Hawley questioned Jackson about her ruling in United States v. Hawkins, where she sentenced an individual caught with over 30 explicit photographs and videos of young children to only three months in prison.
Cruz asked about her ruling in United States v. Chazin, where Jackson issued a 28-month sentence despite federal guidelines calling for 84 to 92 months in prison.
Jackson offered no substantive defense of her sentences in the eight child porn cases she heard as a federal District Court judge during her hearings. Instead, she told Sen. Cruz, “no one case can stand in for a judge’s entire sentencing record. I’ve sentenced more than 100 people. You have eight or nine cases in that chart.”