Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska has announced that he will not vote in favor of confirming Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the nation's high court.
"Judge Jackson is an extraordinary person with an extraordinary American story," Sasse said in a statement. "We both love this country, but we disagree on judicial philosophy and I am sadly unable to vote for this confirmation.
"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. Although she explained originalism and textualism in some detail to the committee, Judge Jackson refused to embrace them or any other precise system of limits on the judicial role," the lawmaker said.
President Joe Biden nominated Jackson to fill the seat currently occupied by Justice Stephen Breyer, who plans to retire later this year.
Only three Republicans voted in favor of confirming Jackson to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last year: Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Susan Collins of Maine. Sasse and two other Republicans were listed as "Not Voting." The 44 remaining Republicans senators voted against confirming Jackson during that June vote.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who voted against confirming Jackson last year, said on Thursday that he will not support elevating Jackson to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
As long as the Senate Democratic caucus sticks together, they can confirm Jackson to the high court even if none of their GOP colleagues decide to support the move. In the event of a 50-50 split vote in the Senate, Vice President Kamala Harris could break the tie to confirm Jackson.
"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," Sasse said in his statement. "Senators should have made fewer speeches, and Judge Jackson should have made her judicial philosophy clear and understandable to the American people. Unfortunately, neither of those things happened.
"I am grateful for Judge Jackson’s service and wish her and her family the best as she takes her seat on the Court, but I am unable to consent to the nomination," he noted.