Utah Senator Mike Lee Votes “No” on Confirmation by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in the US Supreme Court

The Utah senator said during Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that he was concerned about aspects of Jackson’s court records. 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 hearing on confirmation on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 23, 2022.

Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah voted against confirming Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson during Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee session.

After days of hearings, the committee – which evaluates White House nominees for justice – convened Monday afternoon to hold a vote that resulted in a standstill at 11-11 that was divided 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 table a motion to move the nomination to the Senate, the Wall Street Journal reported, which requires a simple majority of 51 votes to pass.

During the first discussion before Monday’s vote, Lee listed several reasons for his rejection.

“When we asked about Judge Jackson’s legal philosophy, when we asked her [and] When we asked others, we were often told to look at their records,” Lee said. “So we looked at her record. We have a lot of things on her record that we found concerning.”

He noted Jackson’s conviction in child pornography cases as well as her involvement in the cases Make the Road New York vs. McAleenan and AFGE against Trump.

These cases haven’t garnered as much attention as some of their other judgments, like some of their sentencing decisions, but they are very, very significant,” he said. “They bother me deeply. Because when someone is willing to act when they lack jurisdiction and/or when they have no valid cause of action to grant that remedy, then that is someone who is cutting through the limits of judicial authority and creating a dangerous set of violating circumstances .”

The Utah Senator also noted his dissatisfaction with Jackson’s responses during the hearing process.

“I’m also concerned about their inability or unwillingness to answer certain fundamental questions,” he said, specifically referring to questions that asked Jackson to define what a woman is and her views on the appointment of Supreme Court Justices. “…These are disturbingly inadequate answers she gives, because she doesn’t answer them at all, to very basic questions. Questions that she could easily answer should be easy to answer, and the fact that she doesn’t and doesn’t want and doesn’t have is worrying.”

Lee concluded his remarks by saying that the committee was not given access to key documents about Jackson’s previous sentencing decisions and questioned why the trial was moving so quickly for confirmation.

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

This story will be updated.

Publisher’s Note • This story is available only to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers. Thank you for supporting local journalism.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2022/04/04/utah-sen-mike-lee-votes/ Utah Senator Mike Lee Votes “No” on Confirmation by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in the US Supreme Court

Joel McCord

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