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Ben Sasse to Vote ‘No’ on Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court Nomination

Senate Judiciary Committee member Ben Sasse (R-NE) announced Friday night he will vote “no” on Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination, threatening the committee’s approval of the judge.

If a majority of Judiciary Committee members do not vote to approve Jackson’s nomination, the vote may result in an 11-11 tie between Republicans and Democrats, forwarding her nomination to the Senate floor with additional procedural steps, meaning the nomination does not have the committee’s recommendation, which under other circumstances is often fatal.

A full Senate vote could then mean moderate Democrats may oppose Jackson’s nomination because of her record of soft sentencing on child pornography cases.

In his statement, Sasse said he opposes Jackson’s nomination because of a lack of any judicial philosophy, which she should have made “clear and understandable” for the committee.

“Judge Jackson is an extraordinary person with an extraordinary American story. We both love this country, but we disagree on judicial philosophy and I am sadly unable to vote for this confirmation,” Sasse said.

“Judge Jackson has impeccable credentials and a deep knowledge of the law, but at every turn this week she not only refused to claim originalism as her judicial philosophy, she refused to claim any judicial philosophy at all,” he continued.

“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,” Sasse added. “Unfortunately, neither of those things happened.”

Jackson’s nomination faces challenges. Breitbart News reported on Friday that Wesley Hawkins, one of Jackson’s sentenced registered sex offenders, who was only given three months in prison by Jackson, seemingly thanked her for the lenient sentence in his case. Hawkins also acknowledged he received from Jackson considerably less prison time than many other sex offenders convicted for child pornography possession:

Family Watchdog/Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 23, 2022, in Washington, DC (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images).

On Friday, several Republican members on the Judiciary Committee issued a letter demanding Jackson divulge further information about the Hawkins case. Those members include Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Josh Hawley (R-MO), John Kennedy (R-LA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter and Gettr @WendellHusebø.




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