McConnell needs the GOP to stand together.
Amid Senator Susan Collins’ (R-Maine) public support of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has begun publicly and privately pressurizing fellow Republican Senators to oppose President Joe Biden’s SCOTUS nominee.
Despite the historic nature of Jackson’s nomination, McConnell argues the vote is not about “race or gender” but should be about Jackson’s record, which McConnell states is too soft on crime and shows that she will likely become an activist judge if she is promoted to the bench.
At a recent Senate GOP lunch, McConnell made his misgivings known with an impassioned plea that urged his Republican colleagues in the Senate to oppose Jackson’s nomination.
A Republican Senator who was in attendance at the lunch noted that McConnell had leaned in hard on Jackson’s record, saying that members of the Judiciary Committee had done “great work” at “exposing this judge’s radical record, and in particular her record on child pornography cases,” which he said “are alarming and extreme.”
McConnell pointed to specific cases in Jackson’s record, highlighting the case of Wesley Hawkins, for whom she handed down a three-month sentence, despite federal prosecutors asking that he be sent to prison for two years.
In his speech, McConnell noted that he believed “Democrats thought this would be an easy process” but noted that it would not be “because she’s a radical nominee,” adding that he hoped “every Republican would look seriously at her record,” which he believes is “troubling.”
McConnell’s remarks target potential swing voters like Senator Mitt Romney (Utah) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).
Murkowski, who was at the lunch and is up for re-elections, didn’t comment on McConnell’s statements. She also didn’t comment on whether she would be voting for Jackson when she was asked by a reporter on Thursday (March 30).
Romney noted that he still had to explore Jackson’s record in further detail before announcing his decision, but said that he “enjoyed” their meeting and praised her “dedication to public service and her family.”