Manchin Blasts GOP Treatment of Ketanji Brown Jackson As ‘Disgraceful’

  • Manchin criticized GOP behavior toward Judge Jackson during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
  • “I think she’s extremely well-qualified and I think she’ll be an exemplary judge,” the senator said.
  • Several Republicans on the Judiciary Committee used the hearings to showcase their opinions on hot-button issues.

Late. Joe Manchin on Tuesday criticized the behavior exhibited by Republicans toward Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearings last week, according to The Hill.

The West Virginia Democrat – who announced on Friday that he would support Jackson’s confirmation to the high court – said GOP senators who repeatedly cut off the federal judge while she was seeking to explain her sentencing decisions exhibited poor judgment.

“It was disgraceful, it really was, what I saw,” he told reporters. “And I met with her and I read all the transcripts. I listened to basically the hearings and it just was embarrassing.”

Manchin added: “It’s not who we are. It’s not what we were sent here to do, to attack other people and just try to tear them down. I will not be part of that. I think she’s extremely well-qualified and I think she’ll be an exemplary judge. “

The senator’s comments seemingly refer to the aggressive tone taken by Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Josh Hawley of Missouri, with the GOP lawmakers pressing Jackson on everything from critical race theory to her sentencing for sex-related cases.

Graham – still livid over the 2018 hearings of now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh and disappointed that President Joe Biden did not nominate J. Michelle Childs, a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, to the high court – repeatedly cut off Brown during his needling her on her judicial record. He was one of three Republican senators who backed Jackson’s confirmation to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last year, but a “yes” vote for her appointment to the Supreme Court appears unlikely.

Cruz and Hawley may be among a group of GOP lawmakers angling for future presidential candidacies. The Texas senator has already run before, coming up short to former President Donald Trump in 2016.

Both men repeatedly asked Jackson about sentencing guidelines, with Brown continuing to explain her reasoning for granting specific lengths of sentences on the second day of questioning.

“What I regret is that in a hearing about my qualifications to be a justice on the Supreme Court, we’ve spent a lot of time focusing on this small subset of my sentences,” Jackson said to Hawley during an exchange last week.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin on Tuesday told reporters that “four or five” Republican senators declined to show a proper level of respect toward Jackson. The Illinois Democrat proceeded to call out lawmakers whom he believes used the confirmation hearings as a vehicle to promote themselves.

“This notion of asking the toughest and meanest questions and then race to Twitter to see if somebody is tweeting it … I mean that’s as bad as playing to the cameras on the worst day,” he said.

Manchin’s support basically seals Jackson’s confirmation, as no other Senate Democrat has indicated that they will oppose her appointment to the high court. With the Senate split 50-50, Democrats can install Jackson with 50 votes and the tiebreaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris, but the party hopes to peel off some Republican support.

Two GOP votes for Jackson may come from Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who supported Jackson’s confirmation to the DC federal appeals court.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse, a member of the Judiciary Committee, praised Jackson’s character but announced on Friday that he would be unable to support her confirmation.

Jackson’s nomination will have to get through the full Judiciary Committee on April 4 – which is split evenly among Democrats and Republicans. A tie vote would add another procedural hurdle for the nomination when it reaches the Senate floor.

Democrats hope to have Jackson confirmed before the Senate’s forthcoming Easter recess.

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